THE Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party has been dissolved and its successor formed immediately afterwards to contest the 2014 general election.
Following the dissolution of the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party during a special general meeting yesterday, executives wasted no time in forming the new Social Democratic Liberal party, thereby retaining the SDL acronym that its predecessor was commonly known for.
The dissolution was necessary so it would comply with the strict terms and conditions of the new Political Parties Decree 2013, which stated that political party names must be registered in the English language. The dissolution was held during a special general meeting at the Fijian Teachers Association Hall yesterday.
Speaking to hundreds of party supporters, patron Ro Teimumu Kepa said the meeting was important because it was the last time they would meet under the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua banner.
"We have been issued with a decree which among other things compels us to change our name into English. This means that no party including our own can be registered under a Fijian name," Ro Teimumu said.
She made it clear in the meeting that neither her nor the executives wanted a change in the party name.
"It appears to me that the Fijian language that embodies the name of the party, a language that is spoken by the majority of the people and recognised by the Yash Ghai draft is probably not good enough to name a political party," Ro Teimumu said.
She said one of the options available to them was choosing an English name but that required an amendment to the party's 2008 constitution.
"This would not be possible given the time limit of 28 days as the party constitution required a period of 30 days for the general assembly in order to do this legally," Ro Teimumu said.
She said, however, that the dissolution of SDL was a better option under the requirement of the decree.