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So How Did Ratu Naiqama Become Leader Of The Opposition?

Is a chief overriding the Constitution of SODELPA and the Fijian Constitution?
09 Dec 2020 14:43
So How Did Ratu Naiqama Become Leader Of The Opposition?
The letter from SODELPA to the 21 Members of Parliament. 

How did Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu come to be moved as the Leader of Opposition?

What happened during the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) caucus meeting yesterday at 8.30am at the Opposition Chamber?

A letter dated 7th December, signed by SODELPA President Ratu Epeli Cakobau and general secretary and registered officer Emele Duituturaga, was sent to all 21 SODELPA Members of Parliament. This was given to all MPs yesterday.

In the letter, the two stated that it was a party directive for MPs to vote for party leader Viliame Gavoka as Leader of the Opposition. It also noted Section 63 of the Fijian Constitution.

Section 63 (1)states: The seat of a member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member—(h) votes or abstains from voting in Parliament contrary to any direction issued by the political party for which he or she was a candidate at the time he or she was elected to Parliament, without obtaining the prior permission of the political party.

So what happened after this letter was delivered to the SODELPA MPs and after Ratu Epenisa and Ms Duituturaga left the Opposition Chambers? Fifteen MPs created a ruckus.

They decided that they would defy the directive and move the name of Ratu Naiqama as a second nominee, if Mr Gavoka’s name is moved.

While this disagreement was ongoing, Ro Teimumu Kepa weighed in. She is believed to have told the MPs that they should not divide the party in front of the entire Parliament. She decided that everyone should vote for Ratu Naiqama.

So, the key questions today are, who is really SODELPA? Elected and appointed office bearers like Ratu Epenisa and Ms Duituturaga or simple MPs like Ro Teimumu?

Is a chief overriding the Constitution of SODELPA and the Fijian Constitution?

Is this a matter of a chief supporting another chief?

What will Ratu Epenisa and Ms Duituturaga do now? They have been made impotent. They may as well resign. There is no adherence to and respect for the stated rules of the party so how can they adhere to the rule of law?

Unless of course, Ratu Epenisa and Ms Duituturaga visit the Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and tell him that all of the MPs have ignored their directive. If they do this, all 21 MPs stand to lose their seats.

Or, they could call Ro Teimumu and put her in her place and have another vote today.

 

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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