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
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.
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.
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.
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