Purge not com­plete

Fiji Sun - - NATION - Ne­mani De­laibatiki

If some mem­bers of the cau­cus rebel against the new party lead­er­ship they could be dis­ci­plined and even ex­pelled.

The purge in sus­pended SODELPA of rad­i­cal el­e­ments went as ex­pected yesterday. The mod­er­ates have taken con­trol of the sus­pended party by dom­i­nat­ing the elec­tion of in­terim of­fi­cials in the gov­ern­ing body - the Man­age­ment Board.

The same can­not be said yet un­til the sus­pended par­lia­men­tary cau­cus is also un­der their con­trol.

That will com­plete the purge. Sus­pended Op­po­si­tion leader and care­taker party leader Si­tiveni Rabuka, who sup­ported the rad­i­cal and ex­trem­ist group led by Ratu Naiqama Lal­a­bal­avu in the Ksha­triya Hall meet­ing, must be feel­ing lonely with­out his ad­min­is­tra­tive backup sup­port of Ratu Naiqama, re­moved pres­i­dent Ro Filipe Tui­sawau, re­moved gen­eral sec­re­tary Usaia Waqatairew­a and re­moved vice pres­i­dent Adi Litia Qion­i­bar­avi. Adi Litia was a key fig­ure in the draft­ing of changes to the party con­sti­tu­tion.

With­out that sup­port he is like a lame duck leader be­cause he has to tow party line. The in­com­ing new of­fi­cials ob­vi­ously are go­ing to make some changes in pol­icy di­rec­tion and he is re­quired to com­ply. His only re­main­ing space is in the cau­cus. Does he have enough sup­port there to wield his in­flu­ence and work to­wards re­gain­ing sup­port in the party?

If some mem­bers of the cau­cus rebel against the new party lead­er­ship they could be dis­ci­plined and even ex­pelled.

A pre­lim­i­nary count shows sup­port is evenly spread be­tween the two ri­val fac­tions.

The mod­er­ates need to con­vince the party to have a deputy cau­cus leader.

An­other move that will en­trench the mod­er­ates in cau­cus is for Mr Rabuka to re­turn the econ­omy port­fo­lio to Aseri Radro­dro.

The new lead­er­ship will also re­view the whole staffing struc­ture of party HQ and the Op­po­si­tion Of­fice. The big task is to pre­pare the party for the AGM in Septem­ber or Oc­to­ber.

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