SODELPA President, Ro Filipe Tuisawau says the new team at the party headquarters will spearhead the process of the appointment of the party leader which SODELPA’s constitution requires to be a competitive selection process, with interviews conducted by a panel in the presence of the Management Board, as it happened in 2016 when the current Party Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka and Leader of Opposition was appointed.
While announcing the appointments of Usaia Pita Waqatairewa as the party’s new General Secretary, Penina Cirikiyasawa as the Assistant General Secretary and Patiliai Waqabaca as the party’s Treasurer, Ro Filipe says one of the top priorities for him and the new administrative team is to start planning the party’s strategic direction for 2022.
He says he is looking forward to working with SODELPA’s 28 Constituency Councils from all over Fiji to plan the party’s preparatory processes in the lead‑up to 2022 or 2023 elections, depending on the dissolution of Parliament at the discretion of the President.
Ro Filipe says in 2020, the party constitution requires a new Party Leader be appointed to take the Party to elections, and if SODELPA wins the majority of seats, the Party Leader will be appointed the Prime Minister.
Waqatairewa was formerly Deputy Director, Fiji Human Rights Commission and Manager Finance at the then Native Land Trust Board. Cirikiyasawa was formerly Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Health and other Ministries.
Waqabaca is currently Senior Administrative Officer, Parliamentary Opposition Office.
Previously he was Principal Administrative Officer, Native Lands Commission and prior to that held a Principal Education Officer post in the Ministry of Education.
SODELPA’s Board also resolved to hold a Special General Meeting later this year, given the terms of a few office‑bearers are expiring, and the General Assembly may re‑elect them or appoint new office‑bearers to these senior party positions.