‘Party contradicts law’

Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem, announcing the lifting of the suspension on political party SODELPA during a press conference in Suva. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem says a recent press release by the Social Democratic Liberal Party appears to contradict the party’s constitution “which has specific procedures that ought to be followed when a vacancy arises”.

The press release of July 10 regarding the party’s executive positions was issued by SODELPA general secretary Emele Duituturaga, a day after Mr Saneem said Sitiveni Rabuka was still party leader, and that the president and vice-president positions had lapsed.

“The Registrar has very clearly stated the cause of the constitutional crisis and also explained the expiry of the president and vice-presidents term,” he said.

“In its current form, the party’s press release appears to contradict the party constitution which has specific procedures that ought to be followed when a vacancy arises.

“If the party chooses to neglect its constitution, it is an internal matter for its members.

“In the last occasion, the High Court has already shown that it will require the party to follow all the provisions of the constitution.”

In the July 10 statement, Ms Duituturaga said the party leader’s position was deemed vacant after the 2018 elections.

“The management board in its earlier and recent decisions agreed that the incumbent holder continue to retain the party leader position until an appointment is made by the management board to take the party to the 2022 elections,” she said.

Ms Duituturaga said the party had in fact already commenced advertising the party leader position in April and May this year. She had also said the management board also extended the appointment of Vijay Singh as vice-president and acting president of the party.

“In similar fashion, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Ratu Jone Lesuma were appointed acting vice presidents. All these casual vacancy positions are determined at the special general or annual meeting of the general assembly. “Management board as the party’s governing authority makes decisions for the party.”

More Stories