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

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - ROSI DOVIVERATA SUVA

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

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