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Fiji Time: 6:12 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Party invites hopefuls

Avinesh Gopal
Friday, December 06, 2013

THE Social Democratic Liberal Party is inviting applications from people interested in contesting the 2014 election.

But those interested have to meet a certain criteria in order to be selected as the party's candidates.

"Women and youths who meet the selection criteria are particularly encouraged to apply," said party general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu.

"People of 18 years and above who are registered as voters can apply and must comply with Sections 55, 56 and 57 of the Constitution.

"The party is looking at selecting a high quality of candidates for the 2014 elections and would like representation across all communities."

Mr Tabaiwalu said there has already been considerable interest from the public to the expression of interest.

Applications close on December 31. The party's criteria says anyone declared bankrupt or convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not less than six months in the five years preceding the date when he becomes an office holder is disqualified as a party official.

Party officials or candidates have to make a declaration of his/her assets, including his/her wife or husband and dependent children. The right candidate for the election must have the potential and proven ability and proven leadership qualities.

Also, the party wants the candidate to have some level of public profile.

Mr Tabaiwalu said the vote would be for the candidate and as such, it was important that the candidate had some level of being known widely in the community or at other levels.

He said the candidate must have experience in community/sub-constituency/constituency work.

"It's important that some experience in community work is shown as candidates are expected to go out to their communities.

"Some relevant academic qualifications is important to be able to grapple with political issues.

"The candidate must be a good decision maker as politics involve a lot of critical decision making for nation building.

"The person must be a good team player, good communicator, highly regarded and command the respect of the community/sub-constituency /constituency he/she represents."

Mr Tabaiwalu said candidates must understand the development needs of their community/sub-constituency.

He said candidates should have personal integrity, be honest, upright and have high moral values which are reflected in their personal life.

Also, he said candidates had to be well grounded with some public profile in the community/sub-constituency/constituency that they wished to represent in the 2014 Elections.

The candidate should have the passion and principles to promote the policies of the party.

If chosen as a candidate, the person will have to pay a financial contribution towards the operation and future plans of the party prior to confirmation.

Meanwhile, the party has advertised for the position of a leader to lead the party into the 2014 Election.

Its former leader and former prime minister Laisenia Qarase has been ruled out of the election because of certain provisions of the Constitution.

Some people who have shown interest in contesting under the SODELPA banner, including Mr Tabaiwalu, have been in touch with people in their areas.