Kuridrani: Appointment process lacks transparency

SODELPA party president Ratu Epenisa Cakobau (right) introduces new party leader Viliame Gavoka (left) at their AGM in Lami, on Saturday, November 28, 020. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Questions are being raised about how the Social Democratic Liberal Party selected its new leaders with parliamentarian Inosi Kuridrani claiming the process lacked accountability and transparency.

Speaking to the media after the SODELPA annual general meeting in Lami on Saturday, Mr Kuridrani said he was one of a group of SODELPA members opposed to the manner in which new party leader Viliame Gavoka had been appointed.

“According to the management board resolution, the interview is supposed to be done in front of the management board, together with the panel that was supposed to be appointed,” he said.

“But little did we know that they had already appointed a company to do the interview and it was done secretly, not in front of the management board.

“And so that is what we are saying, things are not being done according to the proper process.”

Mr Kuridrani also said the panel who had conducted the interview did not submit a report to the management board during their meeting last Thursday.

SODELPA general secretary Emele Duituturaga confirmed receipt of a letter from 15 individuals who had raised concerns about the process in which the new leaders were appointed.

However, she said there was nothing untoward in the processes that led to Mr Gavoka’s appointment as leader and Filimoni Vosarogo as deputy leader.

When quizzed on the number of votes cast to determine the new leaders, Ms Duituturaga said she could not divulge any details.

“I can’t share that with you,” she said.

“All I can say is that the procedures followed was according to the decision made by the management board.

“Of course they were different views about that but we had to ensure that it met the resolutions of the management board.”

Ms Duituturaga also said it was not compulsory for the independent interview panel to submit their report to the management board.

“That wasn’t part of the plan.

“They handed their report to the party president who is the chair of the board.”

When asked about questions raised over the processes which led to his appointment, Mr Gavoka said there was no denying the fact that unity was an issue.

He said during the AGM, there were heated exchanges over the appointment process but he said he would work on bringing the members together.

“And at certain stages of the meeting, the gloves were off, but towards the end of it we agreed that we are doing this together,” he said.

“We have to win in 2022 and unity is the message that we all taking to wherever we come from.”

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