Election creates racial balance: Shiu Raj
Creating a racial balance in the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) is what the newly-elected vicepresident 3, George Shiu Raj, will work towards during his twoyear term in office.
Mr Shiu Raj was appointed at the party’s special general meeting at the Novotel Convention Centre in Lami yesterday.
“I am thankful that I have been elected to this executive post today and that speaks volumes of the inclusivity of all races by SODELPA,” Mr Shiu Raj said.
“I have work to do and I want to promote a balanced party that represents all races.” He said love and unity was the way forward for the party and that included different races working together for the good of the nation. “I have always been open to working in unity with all, including the Government. “I have always commended the work of Prime Minister Bainimarama and I was always open to dialogue on things the Government could improve on.
“That’s how I work, open for healthy discussions always.” Caretaker SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka said the appointment of Mr Shiu Raj ensured that SODELPA was a party for all races.
“We will ensure that our party promotes inclusivity where all Fijians are able to work together in harmony.”
He was elected as the third vice president after a secret ballot voting was carried out following the nomination of two names during the meeting.
Mr Jone Lesuma was the other name nominated to the post. Mr Shiu Raj is a former politician, who served as Minister for Multi-Ethnic Affairs from 2001 to 30 September 2004.
At the time, he was the only Indo-Fijian minister in the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Government led by the late former Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase. He was the Minister for Women, Social Welfare, and Poverty Alleviation.