The Fiji Times
Bau chief gets the nod
SODELPA ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT
THE Social Democratic Liberal Party elected Bauan chief Ratu Epenisa Cakobau as its president.
At a special general meeting held at
Novotel Suva Lami Bay yesterday, the party also voted in three new vice presidents — Na Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa, Rakiraki business mogul George Shiu Raj and Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.
Ro Teimumu said the new leadership represented the three confederacies — Kubuna, Burebasaga and Tovata — and they would take SODELPA as a united force to the 2022 general elections.
However, party general secretary Emele Duituturaga said the decision on who would lead the party to the next polls would be made at SODELPA’s annual general meeting on November 28.
Ro Teimumu said she would not be contesting in the 2022 general election.
BAUAN Chief Ratu Epenisa Cakobau was elected president of the Social Democratic Liberal Party at a special general meeting held at Novotel Suva Lami Bay yesterday.
Also elected as vice presidents for a term of two years were Na Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa, Rakiraki business mogul George Shiu Raj and Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.
Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka said they had to abide by constitutional requirements for the election of the permanent positions.
“We tried to apply the vanua approach but while that is a good approach, we had to be careful that we worked with the constitution requirements — not only the constitution of the party but also the Constitution of Fiji,” he said.
Mr Rabuka said there was bound to be a shift in the polls for their elections, however, proper constitution requirements and vanua protocols were observed during the forum.
“The end product was one that satisfied the vanua and satisfied the constitutional requirements.”
SODELPA general secretary Emele Duituturaga said the management board only had the power to make casual appointments, however, their constitution stated very clearly that only the president or the vice president could preside over the meeting.
“We did have the situation where there were two names that were brought to the board and instead of going to a ballot which we normally would do, we didn’t.
“That was the issue that was highlighted.
“It was a constitutional issue and we resolved that this morning (yesterday) so that we would basically go to the vote for the position of presidency.
“So the party’s no longer in a constitutional crisis.”
Ms Duituturaga said they had reached “a wonderful outcome” at the end of their meeting.
“We have a president and vice presidents who come with a lot of experience, their vanua leadership is key in providing the stability and unity that the party has been wanting for a long time.”