Elec­tion cre­ates racial bal­ance: Shiu Raj

Fiji Sun - - NATION - INOKE RABONU George Shiu Raj. Photo: Inoke Rabonu Edited by Ivamere Nataro Feed­back: inoke.rabonu@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

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