SODELPA Hits Back!

‘They were getting a $50,000 salary from Parliament, so who wants to let that go? Because outside of Parliament they are nothing. So that’s why they stayed. It was for the money and not for the people.’
02 Nov 2022 12:00
SODELPA Hits Back!
From Left; Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) general secretary Lenaitasi Duru, (Middle) Ro Filipe Tuisawau and SODELPA Acting Deputy Leader, Aseri Radrodro. Photo: Leon Lord

Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) general secretary Lenaitasi Duru has retaliated against former Members of Parliament who tendered their resignation to join The People’s Alliance (PA).

This was after the dissolution of Parliament on Monday.

And Mr Duru claimed these former SODELPA MPs were only in the party for the money.

He said they always knew that the eight had allegiance to The PA leader Sitiveni Rabuka, but remained in their parliamentary term for all the allowances.

They are Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Inosi Kuridrani, Ratu Antonio Lalabalavu, Mitieli Bulanauca, Peceli Vosanibola, Ratu Tevita Navurelevu and Jese Saukuru.


SODELPA acting deputy party leader Aseri Radrodro also expressed his disappointment at the group, asking why did they not leave much earlier when their friends did and allow for replacements from loyal SODELPA members who believed in the party ideologies?

“The people of Fiji are not ignorant and have seen how these group stayed in Parliament, assumed the leadership position including that of the Opposition Leader instead of allowing the SODELPA Leader to do so, and in so doing, they were picking up the allowances and salaries meant for those who believed in the SODELPA political aspirations and values,” Mr Radrodro said.

In a press conference on Monday, Ro Filipe Tuisawau told the media they had decided to move out of SODELPA because the executives could not resolve internal differences within the party.

Ro Filipe also said they believed that they would better serve their political objective if they move out of SODELPA.


‘Always expected them to leave’

Mr Duru while responding to Ro Filipe’s statements said they should have done the right thing and resigned when Mr Rabuka had formed his party.

“We had always expected them to leave and that was no secret. It was a matter of when and we knew that they were not going to leave until the issue of the writ because the Parliament needs to be dissolved,” Mr Duru said.

“They were getting a $50,000 salary from Parliament, so who wants to let that go? Because outside of Parliament they are nothing. So that’s why they stayed. It was for the money and not for the people,” he said.

Mr Duru said the eight used SODELPA to create a platform for their political career.


“We got copies of emails where they were in communication and talking about forming this new party, so in a way we have a bit more respect for Lynda for standing up for her principles. She got values and stood by it and did the honourable thing and these people are no longer honourable and they don’t deserve to be called honourable Members of Parliament,” he said.

“SODELPA gave them a platform to launch themselves into the political arena and if they wanted to resign then resign and go and be honourable about doing that.

“Our plans always excluded them from the time we realised they were already with Rabuka.

“They are setting a very bad example and these are the type of people that should not be trusted.

“We need people who have values, principles and they stand by it not people who are like driftwoods. They are not stable enough to represent the people or to lead the people.


“They reflected on the person’s character irrespective of your title or birth right.

“What you do is what you will continue to do. People are no longer blind. People are now educated, smarter and more informed.

“So I hope that people will stand up for what they believe and how they should be treated and the leaders that will stand by them.”

Mr Duru told the leaving group that they needed to respect the people enough to apologise for jumping to another party.

“They need to do that first before they go and hoodwinking others like Ro Filipe just did yesterday trying to divert attention away from their actions and point at SODELPA,” Mr Duru added.


Aseri Radrodro 

Mr Radrodro said they were glad that Ro Filipe and his group left SODELPA because their history is certainly not in the party.

“We all know they were members of other political parties whose ideologies they tried to impose on the original SODELPA members, but thankfully they failed, and now they have left to continue those aspirations that are not what SODELPA believes in.”

When contacted yesterday, Ratu Naiqama said he would not make any comment on the claims made against him.



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