Opinion

SODELPA AGM Soon, Will they let go Rabuka as Party Leader?

They let Madam Kepa go, will they let Mr Rabuka go?

As the Annual General Meeting for Social Democratic Liberal Party grow closer, the party members and the party stalwarts are heading into a dilemma. To be or not to be? More like to let go Rabuka or change the party constitution and re-elect him as the party leader?

The SODELPA constitution stipulates that the party leader automatically loses his seat if he and the party is unable win the general elections.

The same constitution was used to snatch Madam Ro Teimumu Kepa of her party leadership and elect Rabuka as the new party leader for the 2018 general election.

The party board scrambled before 2018 general elections to amend and improvise the party constitution to unseat Madam Kepa who lost 2014 general elections and prepare the seat for Sitiveni Rabuka.

Now months after 2018 November general elections, the party is headed for Annual General Meeting in which they will choose a party leader. After a close loss in 2018 elections, will the party follow their own constitution and let go of Rabuka and choose a new heir to the seat of SODELPA party leadership or will the amend the constitution to elect him again?

Rabuka’s leadership iniatially stirred party division however, he pulled a lot of votes for the party in 2018 general elections which saw Fiji First sweating and losing some seats. In 2018 the party received 181,072 votes, an increase of 41,215 votes relative to 2014. SODELPA has been able to increase its number of seats to 21, up from 15 in 2014.

Should the party amend the constitution, one thing is made clear that the amendment in constitution before 2018 General Election was entirely suited to snatch Ro Teimumu of her leadership or what we would call in Mr Rabuka’s term would be a “coup”.

Mr Rabuka has himself made it clear that party members have “no confidence” in him during the election of the Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, however, it will all come down on the party board and the party stalwarts who they want as their leader which will happen through secret ballot.

It seems like that Mosese Bulitavu, Niko Nawaikula and Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu will be keeping an eye out for they party leader post.

How much Constitution abiding is SODELPA will be seen in a few days’ time.

Feedback: citizenjournalismfiji@gmail.com

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