SODELPA Fights Alone

The Social Democratic Liberal Party will contest the 2022 General Elections alone. This was the word from party general-secretary Lenaitasi Duru yesterday following a social media post by the acting
03 Nov 2022 19:00
SODELPA Fights Alone
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation. Viliame Gavoka

The Social Democratic Liberal Party will contest the 2022 General Elections alone. This was the word from party general-secretary Lenaitasi Duru yesterday following a social media post by the acting leader of the New Generation Party (NGP) Varinava Tiko expressing his concerns on how his proposal was handled by the SODELPA executives earlier this week.

In a social media post yesterday, Mr Tiko said he had met with SODELPA leader Viliame Gavoka soon after the writ was issued on Monday with a proposal that they contest under the SODELPA banner to minimise the splitting of votes.

He said following talks with the New Generation Party supporters, it was suggested that the party join an already established Party.

“The objective of the proposal was to minimise the splitting of votes and to demonstrate to the iTaukei how unity is achieved with a selfless attitude,” he said.


Mr Tiko took to social media to express his concerns at the requirement of the SODELPA committee to have his NGP six provisional candidates resign from the party before they could be interviewed by SODELPA to become their candidates.

Mr Tiko said: “We understand SODELPA’s systems and processes, however we are caught by the risk to resign before an interview with their committee without an assurance by the Management Board first.”

“We do not agree to be left hanging after our resignation without any guarantee by the Management Board or Special General Meeting.

“That the SODELPA Interview and Selection Committee did not allow for further negotiations with the Management Board in this matter, unless we first resigned and that none of our proposals were considered.”


The NGP Proposal To SODELPA:

  • That the shortlisted NGP candidates resign from NGP and contest the 2022 general elections as SODELPA candidates.
  • That the six NGP proposed candidates are accepted to contest under SODELPA without interview.
  • That we would pursue our campaign at our own cost and not limited to the SODELPA constituency boundaries;
  • That we would gladly pay for our own nomination fee;
  • That I am given an audience to present our proposal to the Management Board;
  • That NGP will become SODELPA’s Plan B, should another suspension await them.

The following was required by the SODELPA Committee:

  • That the six NGP proposed candidates resign immediately before attending an interview conducted by the committee on November 2.
  • That the SODELPA Management Board would approve on the proposed candidates in 3 days i.e. Friday 4th November and endorsement in a special general meeting on the 5th of November 2022.
  • That SODELPA will not negotiate unless the NGP team resign immediately.

Mr Tiko said this was their second attempt to unite the iTaukei voters before the 2022 general elections and this wasn’t possible if people cannot practice what they preached.


SODELPA General Secretary Hits Back

While responding to the statement, Mr Duru said Mr Tiko was a person that could not be trusted.

“His little ploy to expose a confidential negotiation and the feeble attempt to discredit SODELPA is pathetic and a bad reflection of his leadership abilities and naivety as a politician.

“This is a person that cannot be trusted. People must not waste their votes on such individuals and small fly-by-night parties,” Mr Duru said.

“The suggestion to resign and contest as SODELPA candidates was first mooted by Varinava as shown at the top of their list of proposals.


“His proposals that follow the suggestion to resign are negated by the fact they propose to resign and become members of SODELPA. They cannot expect to be treated otherwise if they propose to be members of SODELPA. We have our processes and strategies in place and at such short notice, he as a leader should realise that he is not in a position to make demands.”

He said SODELPA understood that the Political Parties Act criminalises being members of two registered parties at the same time. The Party is duty bound to protect the interest of its members at all times.


SODELPA Party Leader

Mr Gavoka said despite Mr Tiko’s frustrations he hoped that the two parties could find ways of working together in the days ahead.

“We were very pleased when we received the delegation from the New Generation Party on Monday to contest the elections under SODELPA. We immediately held discussions with senior members of our Party, the results of which I conveyed to Mr. Tiko,” Mr Gavoka said.

“With SODELPA, the candidates are interviewed by a Selection Committee, whose recommendations are tabled and approved by the Management Board and to be endorsed by the General Assembly. With the deadlines being compressed after the writ, all these will happen Friday and Saturday.”


“The Selection Committee was prepared to sit today (yesterday) to interview the six New Generation candidates, but they were to resign from their party.

“It was the understanding when we met on Monday.

“It is against the law to be interviewing someone who belongs to another party.

“This was the point of contention and we are very sorry that the New Generation people did not accept this.

“But, it is the law. We hope we can find ways of working together in the days ahead.”



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