Rabuka’s Task: TO WIN 36 SEATS
New SODELPA party leader says let us move forward together with other races and reach out to other parties
Newly-appointed SODELPA Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka has been tasked to win at least 36 seats in the 2018 general elections. To make this happen, SODELPA is ready to reach out to other parties including the National Federation Party, Fiji Labour Party, People’s Democratic Party and the One Fiji Party. Mr Rabuka said: “I’m going by the party constitution and it states very clearly that the party must work with other races and while it focuses on the interests of the indigenous people, it is mindful of the interests of other races, knowing that they co-exist. “The well-being and welfare of one transcends the race barrier and impact on the other also. It’s a symbiotic relationship with other races. “In my own personal interactions with other races just as an ordinary citizen, we come to an agreement that this is the way forward for Fiji. “The way I thought was the only way is perhaps not the way and we have come through that, we’ve learned through what was done in that era in our political development, our democratic metamorphosis. Now is the time, to take the bull by the horn and move forward together.” Opposition leader and former SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa was supportive of the move. “The party SODELPA cannot go it alone, it has to merge with other parties – for me personally it is a welcome move; that other parties want to be seen to be working with us.” Ro Teimumu made it known during the annual general meeting that she had personal reservations for Mr Rabuka. But she was supportive of the decision made by the party. “I have to support the democratic processes – although personally I may not agree, I have to support the democratic processes of the party and that’s where I am.” After being named party leader, Mr Rabuka traditionally sought the forgiveness of the party in the “matanigasau” ceremony involving the presentation of a tabua (whalestooth), especially the women members. “Today, I express my apology again for the events of 1987. The process which resulted in my appointment was rigorous.
“I faced hard but relevant questions that I had to answer. The interview panel and management board had to identify the leader that could take us forward in such