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SODELPA spectacle

SODELPA spectacle

By fijivillage
Friday 03/07/2020
SODELPA banner

With SODELPA going through changes and opposition within the party, we give you all the stories that covered these events.


SODELPA to confirm party leader on November 28th

By Iva Danford
Sunday 26/07/2020
SODELPA General Secretary Emele Duituturaga

Come November 28th 2020, SODELPA should have a party leader that will lead them into the 2020 General Elections.

This comes after the process of the selection of party leader was adopted during their Special General Meeting yesterday.

SODELPA General Secretary Emele Duituturaga says during a meeting last Friday, the Management Board which is made up of the 28 constituency councils were invited to give inputs of the criteria of the party leader and deputy party leader.

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Duituturaga says they were also invited to propose nominations for who should be on the selection committee and who should be on the interview panel.

She says on September 12th the confirmed number of people who have applied for the two positions should be confirmed and be ready for short listing.

Duituturaga says the idea is that they maximize input from members because the leader who they expect to win in the next general elections will become the Prime Minister of Fiji.

She says they will involve professional experts who will form the interview panel.

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Duituturaga says the interview panel will then interview the shortlisted candidates for the leadership role in front of the Management Board and the panel will meet to get its cause together.

She says on the 27th of November they will meet as their Constitution states that a party leader is appointed by the Management Board.

Duituturaga says the Management Board having heard the interview results will make their determination and will bring that recommendation for endorsement in the Annual General Meeting.




Ro Teimumu confirms she will not contest the 2022 General Elections

By Iva Danford
Sunday 26/07/2020
Na Marama na Roko Tui Dreketi and SODELPA MP Ro Teimumu Kepa

Na Marama na Roko Tui Dreketi and SODELPA MP Ro Teimumu Kepa has confirmed that she will not be contesting the 2022 general elections.

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Ro Teimumu confirmed this to Fijivillage after she was elected as one of the Vice Presidents for SODELPA alongside Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and George Shiu Raj.

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She says she came back to the party because some of the chiefs of Rewa had asked her to be part of SODELPA.

Ro Teimumu also highlighted that SODELPA is about traditions and culture and in that regard they put great emphasis on the three confederacies which is Kubuna, Burebasaga and Tovata.

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She says that was seen through the appointment of Ratu Epenisa Cakobau as President, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu from Tovata and herself from Burebasaga.




Chiefs now lead SODELPA again - Rabuka

By Iva Danford
Saturday 25/07/2020

Ro Teimumu Kepa, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and George Shiu Raj have been elected as Vice Presidents of SODELPA.

George Shiu Raj and Ratu Jone Lesuma were nominated by party members for the position of third Vice President however Shiu Raj had majority votes.

Bau chief, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau was earlier elected as the President of SODELPA.

rabuka-and-etu-sm[Photo: Etu Fiji]

Speaking to the supporters outside the meeting venue, Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka says the election that has been done today, has taken the party back to how it was formed which was led by the chiefs.

Rabuka says the electing of Shiu Raj shows multiracialism in the party.

He says this is a pathway leading towards their AGM scheduled for November where a party leader will be chosen.




Ratu Epenisa Cakobau has been elected as SODELPA President

By Iva Danford
Saturday 25/07/2020
Ratu Epenisa Cakobau

Ratu Epenisa Cakobau has been elected the President of SODELPA at the party's Special General Meeting in Lami.

In the last hour, the meeting was on 10 minutes break as the meeting cannot proceed without anyone chairing the meeting.

Party General Secretary Emele Duituturaga was heard shouting a few minutes ago 'Order Order, we cannot proceed with the meeting if we don't elect a President'.

Fijivillage has also received confirmation that Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has withdrawn from his appointment yesterday as Acting President.

Earlier this morning, there was a big uproar outside the meeting venue as majority of the SODELPA supporters were locked out and they were calling for the meeting to be called off.

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Fijivillage has received confirmation that the numbers inside the meeting venue has reached 200 as the SODELPA management has asked for permission from the health authorities to increase the number to 200.

Supporters outside are calling out for an explanation from the General Secretary of the party Emele Duituturaga why they can't even sit inside the compound of the venue.

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They are also asking who are the 200 that are already in the meeting venue. Some of the supporters outside included those that came from Lautoka early morning.

Those that are already in the meeting venue include Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka, Party General Secretary Emele Duituturaga, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, SODELPA MP Ratu Suliana Matanitobua, Jese Saukuru, Aseri Radrodro, Mosese Bulitavu, Viliame Gavoka, Ro Teimumu Kepa, Ratu Antonio Lalabalavu, Niko Nawaikula, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Lynda Tabuya, Salote Radrodro and Simione Rasova.

Party members who are also locked out include SODELPA MP Inosi Kuridrani and Ratu Peceli Rinakama.




Ratu Naiqama to chair today’s SODELPA SGM after being appointed Acting Casual VP

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 24/07/2020
Tui Cakau and SODELPA parliamentarian, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu - [Photo: Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu Facebook Page]

Tui Cakau and SODELPA parliamentarian, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu will chair the SODELPA Special General Meeting today after he was elected as Acting Casual Vice President in a management board meeting this afternoon.

The other acting casual Vice Presidents are Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Ratu Jone Lesuma.

Ratu-Epenisa-Cakobau-and-Ratu-Jone-Lesuma[Ratu Jone Lesuma and Ratu Epenisa Cakobau]

Vijay Singh who was the previous Acting President was not considered as a Vice President.

Fijivillage has received information that two sets of nominations are expected in the Special General Meeting today from two groups within the party.

One group is expected to nominate Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu for SODELPA President and their nominees for party VPs will be Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Ro Teimumu Kepa and Ratu Epenisa Cakobau.

However another group is expected to nominate Ratu Epenisa Cakobau for SODELPA President and their nominees for party VPs will be Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Vijay Singh and Ratu Jone Lesuma.

The meeting today is also expected to adopt a resolution to defer the Annual General meeting to 28th November this year.

They are hoping to make the appointment of SODELPA Leader in that November meeting.

While the application process for the SODELPA Leader is open at the moment, the selection process of the party leader is expected to be discussed today.

There are also strong suggestions that anyone under investigation for alleged misuse of parliamentary allowances should not be considered for the SODELPA Leader position.




20 SODELPA MPs support Rabuka

By Iva Danford
Sunday 19/07/2020
[Image: Sitiveni Rabuka - FB ]

20 SODELPA MPs have shown their support towards Sitiveni Rabuka to continue as the Opposition and SODELPA Leader.

In a statement Rabuka says a vote of confidence was prompted by a petition from some members of the SODELPA Caucus, who wished to reaffirm their support for his leadership.

He says the vote of confidence in his leadership is an added boost to his effort to unify and lead SODELPA to victory in 2022.

Rabuka says he also received confirmation of support, as Opposition Leader, from the Leader of the National Federation Party.

He says some members of the SODELPA Caucus sought a review of Caucus working arrangements including the Whips, membership of committees and the need to improve relations between the Caucus and the Party Office.

Rabuka says he has assured Caucus that he will carry out a review of working arrangements.

He says he takes his duty as Party Leader, and Parliamentary Leader of SODELPA and Leader of the Opposition with utmost commitment and responsibility.

Rabuka adds that the unity of Caucus is crucial to unity within the SODELPA family.

He says the Caucus also warmly welcomed the new General Secretary, Emele Duituturaga-Jale.

SODELPA will have their Special General Meeting in Lami on Saturday.




SODELPA Leader position was vacant after the outcome of the 2018 elections – Emele Duituturaga

By Iva Danford
Saturday 11/07/2020
SODELPA General Secretary Emele Duituturaga.

SODELPA General Secretary Emele Duituturaga says their constitution deemed the Party Leader position vacant after the outcome of the 2018 elections.

Duituturaga says the Management Board in its earlier decisions agreed that the incumbent holder continue to retain the Party Leader position until an appointment is made by the Management Board to take the Party to the 2022 elections.

She says the party is simply following due constitutional process in advertising the position of Party Leader.

Duituturaga says that the party had already commenced advertising the Party Leader position in April and May this year.

She says the advertisement for the Party Leader position will be re-advertised today and closes on 12th August, 2020.

Duituturaga says the Management Board also extended the appointment of Vijay Singh as Vice President and Acting President of the party and in similar fashion, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Ratu Jone Lesuma were appointed Acting Vice Presidents.

The General Secretary says all these casual vacancy positions are determined at the Special General or Annual Meeting of the General Assembly.

Duituturaga says the Management Board as the party’s governing authority makes decisions for the SODELPA.

The party's AGM will be held on the 25th of July.





SODELPA’s Suva Constituency President and others seek $10,000 in costs from Ro Filipe, Adi Litia and Waqatairewa after they abandon their appeal

By Vijay Narayan, Pratika Mala
Friday 03/07/2020
Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Usaia Waqatairewa

SODELPA’s Suva Constituency President Watisoni Nata and others are now seeking $10,000 in costs incurred for the case brought up by Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Usaia Waqatairewa instead of the previous sum of $6,000, however, Ro Filipe, Adi Litia and Waqatairewa are seeking to pay no cost or a reasonable cost of $1,500 should the court rule they have to pay.

The matter was called before High Court Judge Justice Vishwa Dutt Sharma.

The lawyer representing Nata and others, Romanu Vananalagi told the court they were now seeking $10,000 in costs incurred for all court appearances for this matter as they were not informed until yesterday that the matter was being withdrawn.

Simione Valenitabua Snr who is representing Ro Filipe, Adi Litia and Waqatairewa today told the court that no costs should be incurred in this matter as their application in the Court of Appeal had been abandoned on the 19th of last month as they had failed to pay the security of costs set by the Chief Registrar within the given time frame.

Valenitabua Snr made a submission that no costs should be awarded to both parties and they should pay their own costs.

He also said if the court does award costs then a reasonable sum of $1,500 should be given.

Vananalagi, however, argued that they had been kept in the dark until the last minute that the matter was being withdrawn and now seek $10,000 in costs.

The matter was set for hearing today.

SODELPA’s Suva Constituency President Watisoni Nata, SODELPA’s Youth Wing President, Jope Koroisavou, the party’s Vice President of the Women’s Forum, Doctor Mere Samisoni, the party’s Secretary of the Women’s Forum, Emele Duituturaga, SODELPA Women’s Wing Lami President, Kesaia Makita and the party’s Lami Youth executive, Asenaca Ravulo had earlier taken legal action against the party executives, and the High Court had ruled in their favour.

The case will be called next Thursday for the ruling.

Meanwhile Nata says that transparency, good governance and accountability is what they fought for and they are pleased with the High Court ruling and also the decision taken by Ro Filipe, Adi Litia and Waqatairewa to withdraw their appeal.

Nata says that all parties in this matter should now come forward and unite for the people.




FICAC officers conduct search at SODELPA office

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 02/07/2020
SODELPA's Acting Vice Presidents Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Ratu Jone Lesuma, Sitiveni Rabuka and SODELPA General Secretary Emele Duituturaga.

SODELPA has confirmed that FICAC officers searched their office at McGregor Road in Suva today in the presence of the General Secretary, Acting Vice Presidents and Party Leader.

SODELPA General Secretary, Emele Duituturaga says the search warrant was issued to obtain information and documentation relating to the party membership, and registration relating to residential addresses of certain SODELPA Members of Parliament in relation to a complaint regarding the alleged breaches of the Parliamentary Remuneration Act.

Duituturaga says the party trusts the legal system will uphold the principles of natural justice and that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

FICAC has already confirmed that they are currently investigating eight Opposition MPs and one Government MP who allegedly breached eligibility requirements for travel and accommodation allowances.

The Commission confirms that the complaint was received in May from the Secretary General of Parliament regarding the alleged breach of the Parliamentary Remuneration Act.

FICAC states that the nature of the complaint alleges that these MPs claimed travel and accommodation allowances they were not entitled to.

They also say that once all the relevant evidence is collated and analysed, a decision will be made and necessary action taken, should it be required.




SODELPA management says they will unify all members to present a formidable force in the 2022 general elections

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 29/06/2020
SODELPA's Acting President Vijay Singh, Acting Vice Presidents Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Ratu Jone Lesuma.

The SODELPA Management Board says they now have urgent issues to resolve, including the unifying of all members of the party to present a formidable force in the 2022 general elections.

In a signed statement, the Acting President, Vijay Singh, Acting Vice Presidents Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Ratu Jone Lesuma have said they are grateful to be able to give back to the people of Fiji, their main opposition party in parliament.

They say the suspension has taught them many valuable lessons, first and foremost is that they must always put the interest of the citizens first for it is by their votes that they are represented in parliament.

Singh, Ratu Epenisa and Ratu Jone have also assured people that the interest of every man, woman and child in Fiji will be their inspiration to deliver a responsible and responsive government in 2022.

They have also sought forgiveness of all Fijian citizens and friends for letting them down.




Senior SODELPA members concerned about Rabuka approaching Saneem to appoint Adi Litia as GS

By Vijay Narayan, Faria Begum Ali
Monday 29/06/2020

The senior management board members of the SODELPA are still concerned that Sitiveni Rabuka had a meeting with the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem last week where Rabuka had asked Saneem to reinstate Adi Litia Qionibaravi as the General Secretary of SODELPA.

Rabuka was confronted about this issue at the Grand Pacific Hotel on Saturday by Tanya Waqanika however he had denied that he had asked Saneem to reinstate Adi Litia Qionibaravi.

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When asked by Fijivillage today, Saneem confirmed that Rabuka had attempted to get Adi Litia appointed as the General Secretary of SODELPA although the position was advertised already.

There are also revelations that 21 members of the management board remained in the meeting room on Saturday and Rabuka and 13 others had opted not to be part of it.

The 3 caucus members could not go in as the party was still suspended at the time.

It has also been confirmed that Rabuka and his supporters then went and met at his home after they decided to leave the meeting venue.

The management board members who did not go out with Rabuka are concerned that the party leader is causing a rift in the party and also did not make any attempts to get the suspension lifted.

They are also concerned that the talk is growing within Rabuka’s group to try and break away and form another party.

Rabuka is yet to comment.



Suspension against SODELPA lifted

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 29/06/2020
SODELPA General Secretary Emele Duituturaga.

Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem has confirmed that Emele Duituturaga has been approved as the General Secretary of SODELPA and he has also declared that the suspension against SODELPA is lifted.

However there is also confirmation that Party Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka did not sign the application for Duituturaga to become the registered officer of SODELPA.

rabsSODELPA Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka

Saneem confirms that 3 of the 4 required executives had signed off for Duituturaga’s appointment and only Sitiveni Rabuka had not signed off on this.

The Registrar says the 3 signatures of Acting President Vijay Singh and Acting Vice Presidents Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Ratu Jone Lesuma are sufficient for the appointment to be approved and recognized.

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SODELPA Vice Presidents Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Ratu Jone Lesuma

Saneem says that objections were also received by unsuccessful General Secretary candidates, Pio Tabaiwalu and Usaia Waqatairewa however the Registrar says this is an employee issue and the party has to deal with the matter.

The Registrar says after assessing the party’s constitution and the requirements, he has approved Duituturaga’s name for the General Secretary position.

Saneem also confirms that SODELPA will have their Special General Meeting in Lami on the 25th of July as they had a deadline to have their AGM on the 30th of June.


Senior SODELPA Management Board members concerned about Rabuka approaching Saneem to appoint Adi Litia as GS of SODELPA

Saneem says Rabuka had attempted to get Adi Litia appointed

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The senior management board members of the SODELPA are still concerned that Sitiveni Rabuka had a meeting with the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem last week where Rabuka had asked Saneem to reinstate Adi Litia Qionibaravi as the General Secretary of SODELPA.

Rabuka was confronted about this issue at the Grand Pacific Hotel on Saturday by Tanya Waqanika however he had denied that he had asked Saneem to reinstate Adi Litia Qionibaravi.

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Adi Litia Qionibaravi at the SODELPA special management board meeting at the GPH on 27/06/2020.

When asked by Fijivillage today, Saneem confirmed that Rabuka had attempted to get Adi Litia appointed as the General Secretary of SODELPA although the position was advertised already.

There are also revelations that 21 members of the management board remained in the meeting room on Saturday and Rabuka and 13 others had opted not to be part of it. The 3 caucus members could not go in as the party was still suspended at the time.

It has also been confirmed that Rabuka and his supporters then went and met at his home after they decided to leave the meeting venue.

The management board members who did not go out with Rabuka are concerned that the party leader is causing a rift in the party and also did not make any attempts to get the suspension lifted. They are also concerned that the talk is growing within Rabuka’s group to try and break away and form another party.

Rabuka is yet to comment.

  Photos from SODELPA's special management board meeting at the GPH on 27/06/2020.




Duituturaga appointed GS

By Iva Danford
Saturday 27/06/2020
Newly appointed Emele Duituturaga General Secretary of the suspended SODELPA

Emele Duituturaga has been appointed the General Secretary of the suspended SODELPA during their Special Management Board meeting at GPH.

Duituturaga says her appointment today was a nationally recognized practice and it was unfortunate that the other members of the Management Board were not in the room.

She says they made attempts to meet with the others and tried to get them into the meeting venue but it was unfortunate that they did not come.

She says the sole purpose of the Management Board meeting today was to have the party unsuspended.

Duituturaga says the other priority was talk and solve issues with other members.

She says the recruitment process was outsourced and she can only confirm that eight applications were received for the General Secretary position.

Fijivillage has got confirmation that there were only two shortlisted names and this included Emele Duituturaga and Pio Tabaiwalu.

It was a landslide victory for Duituturaga.

We can also confirm that one of the applicants was Usaia Waqatairewa




Rabuka and his supporters decide not to attend suspended SODELPA meeting after Vijay Singh says 3 caucus members cannot attend

By Vijay Narayan, Iva Danford
Saturday 27/06/2020
Sitiveni Rabuka

Sitiveni Rabuka says he and others supporting him outside the meeting venue of the special management board of the suspended SODELPA will not go in for the meeting as Acting Vice President, Vijay Singh has decided that the three caucus members, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Mosese Bulitavu and Jese Saukuru will not be allowed to attend however Singh has stressed that it is his job to ensure the suspended party does not get deregistered.

Rabuka, Adi Litia Qionibaravi, Mosese Bulitavu, Ro Filipe Tuisawau and Salote Radrodro were waiting outside the meeting room at GPH to get Singh's response.

Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Tanya Waqanika came out of the meeting room to relay Singh's message that the caucus members cannot be part of the meeting as the party remains suspended and they can only be part of it when the suspension is lifted.

Rabuka and his group insisted that the caucus members should be in.

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Knowing that the decision will not change, Rabuka and others have decided not to attend the meeting.

Rabuka says as a leader he wanted the caucus to be part of the meeting, and says there is no use for the meeting if the caucus is not part of it.

Rabuka had stressed that they were waiting for the response from Vijay Singh on Rabuka's demand that their three caucus representatives be allowed into the meeting.

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Rabuka has also revealed that he was waiting until 9.30am this morning at the Holiday Inn thinking that the meeting was there however after waiting he was advised that there was no meeting and he then had to rush to GPH.

Stay with us for developments.

Earlier:

Rabuka waits outside suspended SODELPA meeting venue for Vijay Singh's response

Rabuka waits until 9.30am at Holiday Inn not knowing meeting venue was GPH

Sitiveni Rabuka says he and others supporting him outside the meeting venue of the special management board of the suspended SODELPA will not go in for the meeting if they do not get a response to allow the caucus members in.

Rabuka, Adi Litia Qionibaravi, Mosese Bulitavu, Ro Filipe Tuisawau and Salote Radrodro are outside the meeting room at GPH.

Rabuka says as a leader he wants the caucus to be part of the meeting, and says there is no use for the meeting if the caucus is not part of it.

Rabuka stresses that they are waiting for the response from the Acting Vice President Vijay Singh on Rabuka's demand that their three caucus representatives be allowed into the meeting.

Rabuka says their three members are Ro Filipe Tuisawau from the Burebasaga Confederacy, Mosese Bulitavu from the Tovata confederacy and Jese Saukuru who is the representative from Kubuna.

Rabuka has also revealed that he was waiting until 9.30am this morning at the Holiday Inn thinking that the meeting was there however after waiting he was advised that there was no meeting and he then had to rush to GPH.

Fijivillage has contacted Vijay Singh who is chairing the meeting. He says he will comment later on Rabuka and others not attending the meeting for now.


Suspended SODELPA currently meeting to rectify the issue of the appointment of the General Secretary

By Vijay Narayan, Iva Danford
Saturday 27/06/2020

The suspended SODELPA are currently meeting in Suva to rectify the issue of the appointment of the General Secretary.

The recruitment and appointment process of the General Secretary is the main topic on the agenda.

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Sitiveni Rabuka, Ro Teimumu Kepa, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Lynda Tabuya, Adi Litia Qionibaravi, Mosese Bulitavu, Viliame Gavoka, Salote Radrodro and Tanya Waqanika have arrived for the meeting.

Lynda-smLynda Tabuya

Meanwhile, Emele Duituturaga was elected in the last meeting however the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem declared that the appointment was not made according to the constitution of the suspended SODELPA.

Stay with us for developments.






Suspended SODELPA currently meeting to rectify the issue of the appointment of the General Secretary

By Vijay Narayan, Iva Danford
Saturday 27/06/2020

The suspended SODELPA are currently meeting in Suva to rectify the issue of the appointment of the General Secretary.

The recruitment and appointment process of the General Secretary is the main topic on the agenda.

Sodelpa-meeting-gph-sm

Sitiveni Rabuka, Ro Teimumu Kepa, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Lynda Tabuya, Adi Litia Qionibaravi, Mosese Bulitavu, Viliame Gavoka, Salote Radrodro and Tanya Waqanika have arrived for the meeting.

Lynda-smLynda Tabuya

Meanwhile, Emele Duituturaga was elected in the last meeting however the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem declared that the appointment was not made according to the constitution of the suspended SODELPA.

Stay with us for developments.




SODELPA has been suspended for 60 days after breaching the Political Parties Act – Mohammed Saneem

By Vijay Narayan, Dhanjay Deo, Semi Turaga, Naveel Krishant
Tuesday 26/05/2020
Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem

Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem has suspended SODELPA for 60 days as it has failed to conduct its management board meeting as per their constitution.

Saneem says this is a clear breach of the Political Parties Act.

He says failure to remedy this breach would result in the deregistration of the party.

Saneem has rejected both applications filed by purported Acting General Secretary of SODELPA (in suspension), Emele Duituturaga and purported Acting General Secretary of the now-suspended party, Adi Litia Qionibaravi.

1[Emele Duituturaga and Adi Litia Qionibaravi - image: file]

This has been done as it was established that both meetings at Holiday Inn and Kshatriya Hall were not held according to the SODELPA (in suspension) constitution where the purported appointments were made.

Saneem also says the quorum was also not met in both meetings.

Fijivillage, can confirm that the meeting at Kshatriya Hall was attended by Adi Litia, Sitiveni Rabuka, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Mitieli Bulanauca, Mosese Bulitavu, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Peceli Rinakama and other members.

222[The meeting at Kshatriya Hall - image: Sainiana Radrodro]

Ro Teimumu Kepa, Lynda Tabuya, Tanya Waqanika, Aseri Radrodro, Emele Duituturaga, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Viliame Gavoka and other members attended the meeting at the Holiday Inn.

11[The meeting at Holiday Inn - image: Sainiana Radrodro]

Saneem also highlighted that there are multiple versions of the SODELPA (in suspension) constitution after an approach was made to the Registrar of Political Parties.

The Registrar says a complaint was received from Watisoni Nata on 19th May this year regarding purported amendments and fraudulent activity in terms of the suspended party’s constitution. Saneem says it was noted that Nata annexed six versions of the party constitution that had been made available to party officials in their meetings and other activities by Adi Litia.

He says there were other versions of the party’s constitution circulating, which the Registrar had no knowledge of.

Saneem says some of these versions had parts of the party constitution missing, and he says this was concerning as Adi Litia Qionibaravi had circulated those versions.

He says it is now unclear which version of the party’s constitution is the correct document.

Saneem also says Nata has said that the omissions in the suspended party’s constitution was designed to help the case of Sitiveni Rabuka to remain in office.

Saneem is also leaving it to relevant authorities as this could also be seen as uttering a forged document. He also says that the position of the party’s Treasurer has been vacant for some time.

The Registrar states that the suspended party is required to submit the documents containing the list of office holders in January on an annual basis but it had not done so for this year.

Saneem says the party’s constitution is very clear that in absence of the party President, the management board can fill the vacancy by appointing one of the Vice Presidents to take up the role.

Duituturaga was earlier given until midday today to provide her response, if any, after the Registrar of Political Parties received a dispute to the application for substitution of Duituturaga’s name as the Registered Officer of the party by Adi Litia Qionibaravi.

Qionibaravi also disputed the list of officeholders of the party that purportedly signed in support of Duituturaga.

Saneem said in interests of natural justice, he had, on a priority basis, forwarded the particulars of the dispute to Duituturaga to seek her response.

FICAC receives complaint from a member of SODELPA (in suspension)

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FICAC confirms that it has received a complaint from a member of SODELPA (in suspension).

This is in relation to revelation that there are multiple versions of the suspended party’s constitution.

Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem has said this could also be seen as uttering a forged document.

We have asked FICAC whether an investigation will commence in this regard.

It is expected to confirm this later.

We will work in unity- Rabuka

Rabuka-sus-sm

Sitiveni Rabuka says they will take a united approach to resolve issues in their suspended party.

Rabuka says they had a meeting this afternoon and this was made very clear.

He says they have gone straight into action to try and carry out remedial actions.

He says they will submit a report that will be constitutionally sustainable.

Rabuka also talked about the different versions of the suspended party’s constitution.

We will hold the fort and wait for other members of the opposition to return – Prof. Biman Prasad

Biman-Prasad-reaction

National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad says they will hold the fort until SODELPA (in suspension) return.

Professor Prasad says the suspended party will return sooner than people expect.




Names of Vijay Singh as SODELPA Acting President and Emele Duituturaga as Acting General Secretary given to FEO

By Vijay Narayan, Semi Turaga, Rashika Kumar
Monday 25/05/2020
Vijay Singh and Emele Duituturaga. [image: file]

There is more confusion today as the two SODELPA groups are now actioning their next step in giving their own lists of appointed office holders to the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem.

Saneem has confirmed that the Fijian Elections Office has been notified on the change of office holders in SODELPA.

He says Sitiveni Rabuka is recognized as the leader of the party while Vijay Singh is recognized as the Acting President, Emele Duituturuga as the Acting General Secretary and Ratu Jone Lesuma and Georgina Raiwalai as the acting Vice Presidents.

Vijay Singh is also the Vice President of the party.

We will submit our names to the Registrar before this Wednesday - Rabuka

Parliement-SM

SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka says they will hear from the Supervisor of Elections and Registrar of Political Parties because they will also be submitting the names as part of the resolutions of their Management Board meeting at Kshatriya Hall on Saturday.

He says they have a deadline of May 27th so they have to do it properly and it is backed up by the authority stated in the party constitution.

When asked about the need for a quorum and the presence of a Vice President for the Management Board to meet, Rabuka says there is still a Vice President and that is Vijay Singh.

He says both meetings on Saturday agreed that Vijay Singh is still the Vice President.

However Rabuka says they decided to appoint Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu as the Acting President.

Rabuka says mediation continues in the party and atmosphere in the caucus this morning was normal and very good.

He says there was a fresh commitment to keep the contributions in parliament lively.

When asked about Vijay Singh saying that Rabuka is a casual leader, Rabuka says that is the normal term used when a successor has not been appointed.

He says there has also been division in the party because of the various grievances that have been brought up.

Rabuka says the grievances are from American chapter about the accounting for their donations and the inclusion of a management board member representing them.

He says these grievances are still on the table

Rabuka has been appointed as a Casual Party Leader – Vijay Singh

Singh also calls on all SODELPA supporters to continue to support and pray for the party

The Acting President of SODELPA, Vijay Singh states that the party’s Management Board has decided that Sitiveni Rabuka remains the Casual Party Leader until the next Annual General Meeting of the party, or when the next substantive leader is decided by the Management Board.

Singh says although the party leader did not attend the board meeting chaired by him, the board members decided to put the stability of the party ahead of any other agenda.

Vijay Singh says the board also agreed to approach the Supervisor of Elections to hold the party’s AGM by September 27th this year, given the court ruling was only declared on April 23rd, and the Constitution requires an AGM before the 30th of June.

Singh says the board deliberated that constituencies would need at least 4 months to submit any motions they had before the board met to clear them for discussions at the AGM.

Vijay Singh also says the board discussed that there are now developments to do with the party constitution that required review, and as such, it would be impossible to comply with the June 30th deadline.

The board meeting also decided to appoint a Constitution Review Committee, a Finance Committee, a Human Resources Committee and a Fundraising Committee. Singh says the meeting was attended by board members who travelled in from as far as Nadi, Lautoka, Ra, Naitasiri, Tailevu South, Rewa, Serua, Nadroga, Nasinu, Suva, Lami, and also had representatives from Lau, from the Youth and the Women Forum.

Vijay Singh is also calling on all party supporters to continue to support and pray for the party and to be steadfast in faith that the new direction of the party will be forward looking and all embracing.

The group that has appointed Vijay Singh as Acting President of SODELPA and Emele Duituturaga as Acting General Secretary of SODELPA met with the Registrar of Political Parties this morning to officially provide the details of the appointments.

Duituturaga, Tanya Waqanika and Ratu Jone Lesuma met with Saneem.

Two separate SODELPA meetings were held at two venues in Suva on Saturday where the two groups appointed their own Acting Presidents and General Secretaries for the party.

Sitiveni Rabuka had attended the meeting at Kshatriya Hall which was organised by Adi Litia Qionibaravi as Rabuka said that Adi Litia was the constitutionally appointed General Secretary.

The meeting at Kshatriya Hall was attended by Adi Litia, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Mitieli Bulanauca, Mosese Bulitavu, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Peceli Rinakama and other members.

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Ro Teimumu Kepa, Lynda Tabuya, Tanya Waqanika, Aseri Radrodro, Emele Duituturaga, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Viliame Gavoka and other members attended the meeting at the Holiday Inn.

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Vijay Singh has stated that a Special SODELPA Management Board meeting was convened by him as Vice President on Saturday. He says he was confirmed as Acting President according to the constitution of SODELPA.

Singh also thanked all board members present and said that despite the holding of another board meeting outside of Holiday Inn, he was grateful that some leaders decided to follow the rule of law.

Vijay Singh also said that it was crucial for SODELPA to show leadership to the people during these difficult times as the Fijian people looked up to our political leaders to provide stability.

The board meeting committed a 1 minute of silence to acknowledge former Party stalwart and Founder, the late Prime Minister and Tui Kobuca Laisenia Qarase, as well as other party members who have since passed on.

Ro Teimumu Kepa also spoke on the principles laid by Qarase and thanked his wife Leba and their family for sharing their husband and father with Fiji for many years as he led in various capacities in Fiji.

Singh says with a 42-member board, and 3 positions vacant with the President, and two Vice Presidents to be filled, the quorum needed was 23 which was achieved.

He says major issues decided included the election of Acting Vice Presidents Gina Pareti and Ratu Jone Lesuma. Singh says Emele Duituturaga was appointed as Acting General Secretary of the party by the board given its acknowledgement that the General Secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi had resigned from the position to the party in October 2019.

  





SODELPA holds separate meetings

By Vijay Narayan, Navitalai Naivalurua
Saturday 23/05/2020
SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka at the Kshatriya Hall meeting

Two meetings comprising of SODELPA Management Board members are underway, and there are indications that both groups are wanting different things for the party.

One meeting is held at the Kshatriya Hall in Toorak which is being attended by SODELPA Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and other SODELPA members.

Another board meeting is taking place at Holiday Inn in Suva which is attended by Ro Teimumu Kepa, Lynda Tabuya, Aseri Radrodro and other party members.

We are receiving reports that in one meeting, at least two SODELPA executives have said that SODELPA is not a party for Indians and women do not have a place in SODELPA leadership.

99060938-664733774381968-5626028689536843776-n

We have been trying to get comments from Rabuka and other party members on this and why two separate meetings are being held.

Some who went into today's meeting were also suggesting that a new party should be set up due to the continued split in SODELPA.

It was earlier said that the Management Board meeting today will look into position of the party’s General Secretary and preparations for the party's General Assembly.

Party Leader, Rabuka had previously stated that Adi Litia Qionibaravi will remain the General Secretary and due process will be undertaken by the Management Board, in accordance with the SODELPA constitution.

Stay with us for developments.




SODELPA to call management board meeting to make casual President and VP appointments

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 07/05/2020
Opposition and SODELPA Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka

The Opposition and SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka has today confirmed that he will be calling the Party’s Management Board urgently to fill the positions of SODELPA President and Vice President casually next week, before the May 27th 2020 deadline set by the Supervisor of Elections.

Rabuka says he also commends Watisoni Nata, Emele Duituturaga and Miliakere Leawere, who were part of the group that petitioned the court for a ruling on the issues they were dissatisfied about within the party.

4381282815bdba9e66b611fb52ab63[Watisoni Nata]

He says the three visited him earlier this week and he assured them that he will do his best to map out a way to bring back harmony and unity in the party as they prepare for the General Assembly this year and the general elections in 2022.

Rabuka also says he was very much encouraged by their pledge of loyalty to him, particularly their trust that he will use his office as Party Leader to fill the vacuum left in the Executive Offices of the Party to ensure plain sailing from here onwards.

Rabuka says every effort will be made to call the Management Board meeting urgently to appoint an Acting President and an Acting Vice President to fill the casual vacancy, and he is pursuing all avenues to broker and mediate a settlement between the parties within SODELPA.

He says this will allow SODELPA to continue its operation until the planned Annual General Meeting in June in line with the requirements of the Registrar of Political Parties.

Rabuka urges the members of SODELPA to have faith and remain committed to the ideals and principles of its founding members, to respect the rule of law and operate within the framework of the Party Constitution, to accommodate members’ views.

Rabuka says he has been informed that three of the defendants, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Usaia Waqatairewa have exercised their individual right to appeal against the judgement of the High Court, to the Court of Appeal.

WEs-H5-J6-400x400[Emele Duituturaga]

Rabuka says the appeal does not preclude an out of court settlement reached via mediation efforts, that could later be registered with the court; both sides could apply to the court for orders in terms of the Deed of Settlement.

He also says he is sad that those affected by the ruling wish to appeal, but he respects their right to do so at their own cost, leaving out the Party to utilize its meager financial resources for preparing the Party for the elections.

Rabuka says the Party will continue to operate normally and prepare for the Annual General Meeting as required by their Constitution to be held by the end of June.

Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Usaia Peter Waqatairewa have personally filed through their solicitors, their appeal in the Fiji Court of Appeal against the High Court judgement pronounced on 23rd April 2020 by the Suva High Court.

251592215ea6798137344e0afd7163[Adi Litia Qionibaravi, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, and Usaia Waqatairewa]

Ro Filipe says service has been effected on all the respondents.

They believe the appeal will assist with Fijian jurisprudence and clarify the SODELPA Constitution, in terms of practice and application.

Ro Filipe says they will be responsible for all appeal costs and not SODELPA. He says their appeal grounds are strong, filed within time, necessary to clarify the SODELPA Constitution and need to be determined urgently.

High Court Judge Justice Vishwa Datt Sharma had declared that the AGM of SODELPA in June last year in Savusavu breached the party’s constitution and the 2013 constitution and the election of Ro Filipe Tuisawau as SODELPA President and Adi Litia Qionibaravi as the Vice President at the AGM were invalid.

Justice Sharma has also declared the decisions, resolutions and outcomes of the AGM of SODELPA in June 2019 are invalid.

The High Court Judge has also declared that all subsequent actions, meetings, resolutions, decisions, outcomes and directives of the management board following the AGM of SODELPA including the acceptance of Adi Litia Qionibaravi’s retrospective resignation and the appointment of Usaia Waqatairewa as the General Secretary of SODELPA are unlawful, invalid and ineffective.

He also says it is a matter for the financial members of SODELPA to elect or remove office bearers of SODELPA and further it is not a matter for the court to do so.

SODELPA’s Suva Constituency President Watisoni Nata, SODELPA’s Youth Wing President, Jope Koroisavou, the party’s Vice President of the Women’s Forum, Doctor Mere Samisoni, the party’s Secretary of the Women’s Forum, Emele Duituturaga, SODELPA Women’s Wing Lami President, Kesaia Makita and the party’s Lami Youth executive, Asenaca Ravulo had taken legal action against the party executives.

The legal action was filed against Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Anare Jale, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Usaia Waqatairewa.




SODELPA will appeal the High Court’s judgement

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 28/04/2020
The Opposition and SODELPA Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka

The Opposition and SODELPA Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka has confirmed that the party will appeal against the High Court’s judgement delivered last week, and his priority as Party Leader is to ensure that the AGM is to be held in June, once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Following the High Court’s decision and the announcement by the Registrar of Political Parties, the SODELPA Leader says the party will continue to operate normally and prepare for the AGM as required by SODELPA’s Constitution to be held by the end of June.

Rabuka says the High Court has stated that it is a matter for the financial members of the party to elect or remove office holders, and further it is not a matter for the court to do so.

He also confirms that he had the opportunity to meet with the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem yesterday to discuss the judgement of the High Court.

2020-sm

Rabuka also says he has called on members of the SODELPA family, voters and supporters, to remain calm and steadfast despite the noise and sensationalism in some quarters, of the judgement pronounced by the High Court on 23rd April 2020, and the directives issued on Monday 27th April 2020, by the Supervisor of Elections.

Rabuka says court’s declarations that all resolutions and decisions of the June 2019 Annual General Assembly and August 2019 Management Board are unlawful, is respected, but unfortunate and has set a precedent that may affect other political parties, and community non-government associations alike. He says the judgement also has implications on the law regarding meetings of associations.

The SODELPA Leader says it is a most trying time for the party as they and the nation mourn the passing of a SODELPA founder, the great and humble leader, former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

Qarase-sm3


Mohammed Saneem has already announced that Ro Filipe Tuisawau has been removed as SODELPA President and they will now wait for the party to appoint another person based on SODELPA’s rules.

Ro-Filipe-Tuisawau-President-sm

Saneem has also stated that Adi Litia Qionibaravi is re-instated as General Secretary of the party while Usaia Waqatairewa is removed as a Registered Officer as the Fijian Elections Office will await the appointment of a Registered Officer pursuant to Section 11 of the Political Parties Act.

waqai-qio

He says the changes have been made with immediate effect to ensure last week’s court orders are complied with.

High Court Judge Justice Vishwa Datt Sharma had declared that the AGM of SODELPA in June last year in Savusavu breached the party’s constitution and the 2013 constitution and the election of Ro Filipe Tuisawau as SODELPA President and Adi Litia Qionibaravi as the Vice President at the AGM were invalid.

The High Court Judge has also declared that all subsequent actions, meetings, resolutions, decisions, outcomes and directives of the management board following the AGM of SODELPA including the acceptance of Adi Litia Qionibaravi’s retrospective resignation and the appointment of Usaia Waqatairewa as the General Secretary of SODELPA are unlawful, invalid and ineffective.

The court has also declared that Adi Litia has ceased to be a member of the management board by virtue of certain sections of the party’s constitution.

Justice Sharma has also said that the mere fact that the defendants have acted in breach as referred to in his judgement does not mean that Ro Filipe and Waqatairewa are not entitled to hold office in their respective capacity as party President, Vice President and General Secretary.

He also says it is a matter for the financial members of SODELPA to elect or remove office bearers of SODELPA and further it is not a matter for the court to do so.

SODELPA’s Suva Constituency President Watisoni Nata, SODELPA’s Youth Wing President, Jope Koroisavou, the party’s Vice President of the Women’s Forum, Doctor Mere Samisoni, the party’s Secretary of the Women’s Forum, Emele Duituturaga, SODELPA Women’s Wing Lami President, Kesaia Makita and the party’s Lami Youth executive, Asenaca Ravulo had taken legal action against the party executives.

The legal action was filed against SODELPA President, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Anare Jale, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Usaia Waqatairewa.




Ro Filipe is no longer SODELPA president

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 27/04/2020
Adi Litia Qionibaravi, Ro Filipe Tuisawau and Usaia Waqatairewa

Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem has announced that Ro Filipe Tuisawau has been removed as SODELPA President and they will now wait for the party to appoint another person based on SODELPA’s rules.

Saneem has also stated that Adi Litia Qionibaravi is re-instated as General Secretary of the party while Usaia Waqatairewa is removed as a Registered Officer as the Fijian Elections Office will await the appointment of a Registered Officer pursuant to Section 11 of the Political Parties Act.

Saneem-sm15  Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem. 

He says the changes have been made with immediate effect to ensure last week’s court orders are complied with.

High Court Judge Justice Vishwa Datt Sharma had declared that the AGM of SODELPA in June last year in Savusavu breached the party’s constitution and the 2013 constitution and the election of Ro Filipe Tuisawau as SODELPA President and Adi Litia Qionibaravi as the Vice President at the AGM were invalid.

The High Court Judge has also declared that all subsequent actions, meetings, resolutions, decisions, outcomes and directives of the management board following the AGM of SODELPA including the acceptance of Adi Litia Qionibaravi’s retrospective resignation and the appointment of Usaia Waqatairewa as the General Secretary of SODELPA are unlawful, invalid and ineffective.

The court has also declared that Adi Litia has ceased to be a member of the management board by virtue of certain sections of the party’s constitution.

Justice Sharma has also said that the mere fact that the defendants have acted in breach as referred to in his judgement does not mean that Ro Filipe and Waqatairewa are not entitled to hold office in their respective capacity as party President, Vice President and General Secretary.

He also says it is a matter for the financial members of SODELPA to elect or remove office bearers of SODELPA and further it is not a matter for the court to do so.

SODELPA’s Suva Constituency President Watisoni Nata, SODELPA’s Youth Wing President, Jope Koroisavou, the party’s Vice President of the Women’s Forum, Doctor Mere Samisoni, the party’s Secretary of the Women’s Forum, Emele Duituturaga, SODELPA Women’s Wing Lami President, Kesaia Makita and the party’s Lami Youth executive, Asenaca Ravulo had taken legal action against the party executives.

The legal action was filed against SODELPA President, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Anare Jale, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Usaia Waqatairewa.




SODELPA's AGM breached the constitution of the party and the country

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 23/04/2020
Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Anare Jale, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Usaia Waqatairewa.

High Court Judge Justice Vishwa Datt Sharma has today declared that the AGM of SODELPA in June last year in Savusavu breached the party’s constitution and the 2013 constitution and the election of Ro Filipe Tuisawau as SODELPA President and Adi Litia Qionibaravi as the Vice President at the AGM were invalid.

Justice Sharma has declared the decisions, resolutions and outcomes of the AGM of SODELPA in June 2019 are invalid.

The High Court Judge has also declared that all subsequent actions, meetings, resolutions, decisions, outcomes and directives of the management board following the AGM of SODELPA including the acceptance of Adi Litia Qionibaravi’s retrospective resignation and the appointment of Usaia Waqatairewa as the General Secretary of SODELPA are unlawful, invalid and ineffective.

waqai-qio

Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Usaia Waqatairewa

The court has also declared that Adi Litia has ceased to be a member of the management board by virtue of certain sections of the party’s constitution.

Justice Sharma has also said that the mere fact that the defendants have acted in breach as referred to in his judgement does not mean that Ro Filipe and Waqatairewa are not entitled to hold office in their respective capacity as party President, Vice President and General Secretary.

He also says it is a matter for the financial members of SODELPA to elect or remove office bearers of SODELPA and further it is not a matter for the court to do so.

SODELPA’s Suva Constituency President Watisoni Nata, SODELPA’s Youth Wing President, Jope Koroisavou, the party’s Vice President of the Women’s Forum, Doctor Mere Samisoni, the party’s Secretary of the Women’s Forum, Emele Duituturaga, SODELPA Women’s Wing Lami President, Kesaia Makita and the party’s Lami Youth executive, Asenaca Ravulo had taken legal action against the party executives.

The legal action was filed against SODELPA President, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Anare Jale, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Usaia Waqatairewa.

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SODELPA President, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Anare Jale, Adi Litia Qionibaravi 

The defendants have also been ordered to pay the plaintiffs $2,000 within 14 days.



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