SODELPA suspension lifted
30 June, 2020, 7:12 pm
The suspension of the Social Democratic Liberal Party has been lifted but the party needs to convene a special annual general meeting next month to avoid a “constitutional crisis”.
Registrar of political parties Mohammed Saneem said this when he announced the lifting of the suspension yesterday afternoon in a press conference where he also confirmed Emele Duituturaga as the general secretary for SODELPA.
He said yesterday party officials presented Ms Duituturaga as the registered officer and also furnished the Registrar’s Office with the required signed work contract and performance agreement.
The application was signed by acting president Vijay Singh, acting vice-presidents Ratu Epenisa Seru Cakobau and Jone Tevita Lesuma, and Ms Duituturaga.
Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka did not sign the application but the application “satisfied the requirements of section 11(2)(b) of the Act”.
He said he had also received objections to the appointment from Pio Tabaiwalu, and Usaia Waqaitarewa.
Both had also applied for the position.
He said following enquiries, he was of the view the general secretary position was an employee position.
“The party, as the employer, will have to deal with the appeals and objections from unsuccessful candidates for the position.
“The Registrar is independent and in this matter, Mr Tabaiwalu and Mr Waqaitarewa may directly seek to invoke the grievance clause of the constitution or consider appropriate legal action.”
The SODELPA party was suspended on May 26 and was required to provide the correct version of the party constitution to the Registrar, to comply with the High Court ruling and re- submit its audited accounts, and thirdly to comply with the appointment of a registered officer.
“The officials provided the Registrar with an agreed version of the constitution on June 16, 2020.
The registrar was informed that the constitution had been vetted by the taskforce as well as by Adi Litia, the former general secretary.
“This constitution formed the basis of the further activities of the suspended party as it attempted to remedy the breaches,” Mr Saneem said.
(Editor’s note: This article was published in The Fiji Times on Tuesday, June 30, 2020)