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Party wants to meet

Shalveen Chand
Friday, January 31, 2014

THE Social Democratic and Liberal Party — SODELPA — wants to meet the Electoral Commission.

SODELPA general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu said this would be the only way forward as they were stakeholders in the upcoming elections.

He said the commission had been in existence for more than three weeks yet the party had not been contacted.

"We would like to meet them just over a cup of tea and say hello, this is what we have been doing," said Mr Tabaiwalu.

"The commission should be at the forefront of all things that deal with the elections. I think they should be answerable to all, after all, they are paid by the taxpayers."

Questions regarding meetings with the parties had been sent to commission chair Chen Bunn Young although he had yet to respond.

As for candidates for the elections, SODELPA had a clear idea who they would be.

"We will be having a special general meeting at the end of next month and after that we will announce our candidates," said Mr Tabaiwalu.

"We have a special committee which has been looking at those who've applied to represent the party."

On the issue of the party's leadership, Mr Tabaiwalu said that too would be announced at the end of next month.

Asked if the SODELPA was considering having former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka lead the party, Mr Tabaiwalu said his application would be put through the same process as the other applicants.

SODELPA is also curious as to what the ballot papers would be like.

Mr Tabaiwalu said this was one of the reasons why the party wanted to meet the commission.

He said SODELPA hoped the ballot papers would have photos of the candidates together with party symbols.

On the issue of the electoral legislation, Mr Tabaiwalu said the quicker it was made public the better it would be for the parties which would then have a fair idea of what the laws were regarding the election to be held in September this year.

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