Candidate banks on traditional support
18 September, 2014, 12:00 am
RUPENI Nadalo’s involvement in politics began as a child, growing up in the home of his National Federation Party stalwart father, Isikeli Nadalo.
Today, the 55-year-old is a FijiFirst candidate eagerly awaiting the results of the 2014 general election.
The former tourism industry worker is one of two strong contenders for support from indigenous voters in the Sigatoka district.
The other is SODELPA’s Ratu Osea Bolawaqatabu. Both men have strong blood ties to chiefly households in the province of Nadroga.
Mr Nadalo revealed that both SODELPA and NFP had approached him.
“I was approached by both these parties but I kindly turned them both down,” he said.
“What really captured my attention was how the FijiFirst party organised things in the running of the government and their long-term plan.
“They had fresher ideas for a modern Fiji,” said Mr Nadalo who now runs a 16-acre farm at Emuri, Nadroga.
He said many expected him to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the NFP.
“But I told them frankly I would support FijiFirst,” he said.
He holds a diploma in Hotel Catering and has worked in many well-known resorts in the West for about 30 years.
Mr Nadalo hails from Batiri village in Nadroga and his mother is from Tore village in Cuvu.
A very close relative of the paramount chief of Nadroga, the late Kalevu Ratu Sakiusa Makutu, Mr Nadalo revealed that the Kalevu had assured him last year that he would be a candidate for SODELPA.
“I would have certainly been a SODELPA candidate for the pure respect of my cousin, the Kalevu, because of his chiefly rank, but unfortunately he passed away,’
He predicts FijiFirst will win about 46 seats.