Politics

Lynda Tabuya: I Will Hold SODELPA Accountable Until They Kick Me Out

Ms Tabuya questioned the party’s leadership’s decision making following the ban of the Kadavu constituency representatives to the management board meeting in Suva last Friday.
14 Apr 2021 11:40
Lynda Tabuya: I Will Hold SODELPA Accountable Until They Kick Me Out
SODELPA MP and Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya says she will continue to hold the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) accountable until she is kicked out of the party. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya last night said she will continue to hold the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) accountable until she is kicked out of the party.

Ms Tabuya questioned the party’s leadership’s decision making following the ban of the Kadavu constituency representatives to the management board meeting in Suva last Friday.

Party leader Viliame Gavoka had said that there were some governance issues that the Kadavu Constituency needed to comply with in the party.

He said the party will be making a trip to Kadavu this week to visit its supporters and be able to rectify the issue.

Below are excerpts of her interview with the Fiji Sun:

1. We have been able to establish that you are considering leaving SODELPA, can you confirm if there is any truth to this?

Ever since I’ve joined SODELPA in 2017 when as leader of the People’s Democratic Party I signed the memorandum of understanding with SODELPA party leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, to join forces and come under the SODELPA banner, there have been efforts to either remove me, so there have been times when I’ve considered leaving, but the most important consideration is what is the best move for me for our people.

However I’ve stuck through it, and I’ve worked out solutions because I’m solution oriented. However, a very large part of that success has been having Rabuka as leader. He is amenable, empowering and has stood by me in those hard times.

He is definitely one of those male advocates who empower women and who walks the talk to enable women to share power and share responsibility. In the last five months since the new leadership have come on board, I’ve faced more perilous opposition which has included threats of being taken to court, facing discipline or facing expulsion.

But all that is not as important to me as the preparation of the party itself towards elections. It’s been five months since our party leader and deputy party leader have been chosen, but I’ve yet to see a plan to win 2022.

I’m result oriented, elections are a numbers game. That is the frustrating part for me, so I am querying that of my party and will continue to do so, unless the party kicks me out sooner.

2. Your Facebook post on Sunday on the banning of members of the Kadavu constituency into the Management Board Meeting stirred some attention when the general secretary of SODELPA released a statement putting you on notice. What is your response to this? Do you trust the current leadership of the party?

I stand by my Kadavu representative on the Management Board.I do so for three reasons:

1) I am from Kadavu, so it is personal for me;

2) I am a fellow member of the Management Board, so what affects him affects me;

3) What I see is just a general lack of care to rectify governance issues which falls squarely in the hands of the executive. 

I, liken the Management Board to Parliament, made up of the people’s representatives and is the deciding body of the party. The executive account to the management board are subject to the management board.

This includes the president, the vice presidents, the general secretary and the treasurer.

Conducting AGMs (annual general meetings) and setting up branches should be the ultimate responsibility of the party executive. For three months if they feel that their people on the ground are not doing it, then go out there and do it to ensure compliance.

Do not punish the member on the Management Board by excluding them from the meetings because the buck stops with them to do their job.

3. If you plan to leave SODELPA, do you think you would rake out a huge number of party supporters? Keeping in mind the amount of votes you had received in 2018.

I have no plans to leave SODELPA right now, but with time being short to elections, and the repeated arbitrary decision making of the executive to punish, intimidate and exclude with their threats, I see a deterioration in justice, fairness and due process within, which will possibly see more provinces pulling out as confidence in the current leadership dwindles.

There is certainly pressure on with the limited time frame to consider options. Only time will tell.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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