FIJI'S largest opposition party, the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) has taken the lead in its build-up to the 2018 General Election and has confirmed four candidates who will contest under the party's ticket.
The four include the party's two serving members of Parliament Viliame Gavoka and Ratu Kiniviliame Kiliraki. The other candidates are former Public Service Commission CEO Anare Jale and the party leader Sitiveni Rabuka.
SODELPA senior executive Mr Jale said the four names were confirmed before the party called for expression of interests for candidates.
"There are four of us confirmed as candidates before the process started because we were the candidates that contested for the party leadership," he said.
Mr Jale said the four names were confirmed by the party's management board.
"The others will apply through the normal process and they will go through the normal interviews and selection."
Party general secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi urged those who wished to stand for election, to send in their expression of interest to the party office.
"So far we have received 100 expressions of interest. The party is considering extending the deadline and this will be decided by the party's working committee and we will make the announcement once the decision has been made," Adi Litia said.
She said the party's management board agreed that the candidates would be announced in April 2017.
"This will give the candidates about 11 months to campaign before the scheduled elections in March 2018."