SODELPA replies to claims by for­mer youth pres­i­dent

Fiji Sun - - Fiji Today - Edited by Naisa Koroi ASHNA KU­MAR Feedback: jy­otip@fi­

The So­cial Demo­cratic Lib­eral Party (SODELPA) has replied to claims made by for­mer party youth leader, Pita Waqavonovono. On its Face­book page, SODELPA Fiji, the party said: “The Party con­sid­ers the state­ments by Pita Waqavonovono fol­low­ing his res­ig­na­tion from the Party as re­gret­table, and is­sues this clar­i­fi­ca­tion. “Pita was re­minded of the need for the Youth AGM to be held be­fore the Party AGM ear­lier this year by the then in­terim party gen­eral sec­re­tary. How­ever, Pita in­sisted that the Youth AGM to be a closed meet­ing only, and not pub­lic, as an­nual gen­eral meet­ings usu­ally are. Pita in­sisted that the SODELPA Youth Fo­rum AGM should be open only to al­ready reg­is­tered youth fo­rum mem­bers, which is con­trary to the party’s con­sti­tu­tion and con­trary to the party’s ideals and ad­vo­cacy for democ­racy, trans­parency and good gov­er­nance. De­spite nu­mer­ous re­quests for a dis­cus­sion on the youth fo­rum AGM, Pita re­fused to meet with the gen­eral sec­re­tary” It went on to state that from Fe­bru­ary/March 2016, Mr Waqavonovono pur­ported to be the pres­i­dent of the SODELPA youth fo­rum in com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the Party gen­eral sec­re­tary. “How­ever he had re­signed as pres­i­dent of the youth pres­i­dent fo­rum on 28th Jan­uary, 2016. The gen­eral sec­re­tary was ad­vised of this res­ig­na­tion on June 15th, 2016.” Setareki Loco and Talei Kar­avaki were rep­re­sent­ing the youth fo­rum in the man­age­ment board from Oc­to­ber, 2015 and in the first half of 2016. On June 24, on the day of the SODELPA an­nual gen­eral meet­ing Mr Waqavonovono posted on his Face­book ac­count: “I de­cided to re­sign from SODELPA 2 days ago. Ma­jor­ity of the rea­son­ing, is to do with lead­er­ship styles and the ex­er­cise of du­ties, in­clud­ing at­tempts to block SODELPA youth rep­re­sen­ta­tives from sit­ting on the man­age­ment board or even host­ing a youth AGM. “This was all done in order to usher in SI­TIVENI RABUKA as the new Party Leader. Pre­vent­ing young peo­ple from par­tic­i­pat­ing, so you can force the elec­tion of a Dic­ta­tor is dis­gust­ing and that’s the kind of thing I did not sign up for!” Ques­tions were sent to Mr Waqavonovono yes­ter­day, but re­mained unan­swered when this edi­tion went to press.

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