22nd July 10:50 PM
SODELPA to appoint an Independent Arbiter to deal with allegations
By Vijay Narayan and Semi Turaga
Thursday 20/08/2015
SODELPA General Secretary Pio Tabaiwalu.

The Social Democratic Liberal Party will appoint an Independent Arbiter soon to look into a grievance letter sent to SODELPA’s Management Board.

SODELPA General Secretary, Pio Tabaiwalu says he cannot say what the grievances are and who has given the letter from within SODELPA.

However he confirms that the person who is facing the allegations has also responded to the issues raised.

Tabaiwalu says SODELPA President, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu who is the Chairman of the party’s management board will call the meeting after he returns from Australia next week.

The management board will then choose the Independent Arbiter.

SODELPA parliamentarian, Mosese Bulitavu wants Ro Teimumu Kepa, Ratu Isoa Tikoca, Mick Beddoes and Adi Laufitu Malani to resign by this Friday.

Bulitavu adds that he will officially resign from his seat in parliament on Friday if Ro Teimumu does not step down as the Party Leader.

According to Bulitavu, he has the support of some senior SODELPA members.

Several attempts have been made by Fijivillage to speak to SODELPA Leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa.

However she will not make any comments in relation to the concerns raised about some decisions made by her as the Opposition Leader.

Some of the SODELPA MPs and officials Fijivillage has spoken to since last week maintain that the issues need to be addressed and matters like the selection process of Mick Beddoes and Laufitu Malani need to be reassessed.

Calls have been made for an investigation to be conducted by the SODELPA Management Board.

Some of the matters include alleged lack of consultation on a few issues by the Opposition Leader.

Questions have been raised on why the Opposition staff positions were not advertised and the salary levels of Beddoes and others.

Questions have also been raised on the budget of the opposition office and how decisions are being made to spend the money allocated to the office.

Several calls to Mick Beddoes remain unanswered.

Tabaiwalu says these are all allegations and they have to get the Independent Arbiter to separate facts from the rumours.

Meanwhile Tabaiwalu says he cannot say anything on SODELPA MP, Mosese Bulitavu’s announcement that he will resign if the Opposition Leader and other opposition staff do not resign.

SODELPA Cakaudrove representatives, Ratu Kilipati Vakalalabure and Timoci Bulitavu have also released a statement saying that they stand by Bulitavu to demand for an investigation.

They also say that Pio Tabaiwalu’s statement that the report is lies indicates that he should not be part of the Investigation Team.

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