22nd March 08:11 PM
Opposition Leader says she cannot comment on parts of SODELPA's manifesto released by Rabuka
By Vijay Narayan and Iva Danford
Thursday 15/03/2018
The Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa

The Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa who is the parliamentary leader of SODELPA, says she cannot make any comments on the essence of the SODELPA manifesto that was discussed by the party leader, Sitiveni Rabuka in Sydney over the weekend.

Fijivillage has been alerted that SODELPA is again looking at some issues that were in their 2014 manifesto like looking at amendments to the constitution to remove Fijian to be the common name for all Fijian citizens, change the electoral system and have reserved seats based on race, and change the secular state provision which means that no religion should be given preference over another.

Rabuka has also said that SODLEPA will zero rate VAT for basic need food items if it forms government.

No statements have been released by Rabuka in Fiji about what is in the manifesto as yet.

When asked on the details announced in Sydney, Ro Teimumu Kepa says the SODELPA parliamentarians will meet soon to discuss what should be in the manifesto.

When asked on the stand of the party on common name, secular state and the current electoral system, Ro Teimumu said that she cannot say anything on that.

She says a statement will be released after the meeting of the SODELPA parliamentarians.

SODELPA President Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu refused to comment.

SODELPA General Secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi says the party manifesto was not released or launched in Australia, as claimed by some of the media.

Adi Litia says members of the SODELPA family and friends in Sydney requested Sitiveni Rabuka to share with them his vision for Fiji in 2018 and beyond, and some of the key issues and challenges that will be addressed by the party during the election, and when it forms the next government.

She says Rabuka shared his vision for Fiji in 2018 and beyond “to build a secure, peaceful, prosperous and stable nation through inclusive leadership and governance that will foster improved livelihoods, sustainable economic and social development, protection of our environment, and reduced vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change” and the Party’s slogan for the 2018 general election is “Leadership that Listens.”

Adi Litia says Rabuka’s vision is based on his strong Christian belief in unity through multiracialism.

Rabuka shared his view that individual human rights have been undermined and restricted and people are fearful of expressing their concerns.

He says in addition, the concern of the Party in the marginalisation of the iTaukei rights and their relevant institutions which undermines their rights as recognised in the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights 2007 and the ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.

Rabuka also shared his concern in Australia on the high debt level particularly for the future generations and that the rights of workers have been eroded.

He also shared his concern on the current dissatisfaction in the public sector.

Adi Litia says the Manifesto Committee is still working on the draft in consultation with the party’s key stakeholders.

On the amendment to the 2013 Constitution, Adi Litia says the people of Fiji will decide through consultation and dialogue, and a referendum as required under the 2013 Constitution.

She says let the people decide as any change to the Constitution will be decided by the power of the people.

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