Backup plan

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka surrounded by party members and well wishers outside the Government Building.. Picture: ATU RASEA

IF Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka is convicted, the party said it has a succession plan for the 2018 polls.

The succession plan includes the automatic appointment of party president Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu as the party leader.

Revealing this to The Fiji Times yesterday, party vice-president and member of the management board Anare Jale said Ratu Naiqama would then be required to call a meeting of the party’s management board within seven days to appoint a new leader.

Mr Jale said if Mr Rabuka was convicted, the new leader would be one who had served the party for years.

He hinted that Ratu Naiqama and former party leader Ro Teimumu Kepa could also be in the running for the party leader’s position if Mr Rabuka was convicted.

When asked whether party candidate Lynda Tabuya would be considered for the party’s leadership, Mr Jale said for stability, the party needed someone who had been in the party for a while.

“She (Ro Teimumu Kepa) led the team before and I think she has the capability to lead the party.

“I don’t think Lynda for now would like to take over the position. For stability we need someone who has been in the party for a while.”

He said Ratu Naiqama also had the qualification to be the party leader.

“The special general meeting of the party that took place a month ago decided that if that happens (Mr Rabuka gets convicted) the president immediately assumes the position of party leader.”

He said while Mr Rabuka’s appeal was before the court, the party had not decided anything on the new leader and would wait for the court’s decision. Mr Jale emphasised on the need for unity within the party.


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