Rabuka ousted from SODELPA leader’s post

Sitiveni Rabuka talks to the media after the SODELPA management board meeting at the Southern Cross Hotel in Suva yesterday. Picture: RAMA

Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka has been ousted from his position as leader of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), and he says there is “no point in fighting on” with the party.

The former prime minister, who was voted out during SODELPA’s management board meeting in Suva yesterday, has however maintained he will contest the 2022 general election.

When asked whether he would support the new party leader and the party, he said: “not necessarily”.

“I was asked to come to the party. I have come. Now the party has decided that it doesn’t need me,” he said.

“At the moment I am still with the party and I will respect their request for me to come into the party.”

He said he would not form another political party. “No other party carries the heart or the philosophy I went into politics for.”

Party president Ratu Epenisa Cakobau said the names of the new leaders would be presented today during the party’s annual general meeting.

“The final say is today (yesterday) but we are going to present it at the annual general meeting tomorrow,” he said.

Ratu Epenisa acknowledged Mr Rabuka’s contribution and said the party was aware of the challenge that was before them in terms of gaining support and the trust of voters.

“I’d like to thank Mr Rabuka for his contribution towards the party in 2014 and 2018.

“The members of the board have spoken and they have nominated the person that will be leading the election for 2022 and all we have to do now is support.

“I think Mr Rabuka had also mentioned that whoever is going to be appointed as party leader he would also support. Even though 2022 is not far but definitely we will work towards it.”

The party’s annual general meeting will be held today at the Novotel Suva Lami Bay Convention Centre in Lami.

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