Ex-PMs screen party hopefuls

SODEPLA Executives and party members pose for a photo after the Annual General Meeting in Lautoka. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI

TWO former prime ministers sifted through more than 100 applications to select 46 candidates that will best represent the Social Democratic Liberal Party in the lead-up to the 2018 election.

These candidates include leader of the Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa, unionist Daniel Urai, former parliamentarian George Shiu Raj and party general secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi. Speaking at the party’s annual general meeting at Namoli Village, Lautoka, yesterday, former prime minister and

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka revealed that he and former PM Laisenia Qarase worked together in the candidate selection committee.

Speaking to hundreds of supporters at the AGM, Mr Rabuka said 2017 and 2018 had been challenging but satisfying.

He said the lead-up to the general election had been filled with a number of engagements which included meeting party members and supporters locally and overseas.

Mr Rabuka also hailed the efforts of committees in the party, including the manifesto committee that worked hard to formulate a refined manifesto.

Meanwhile, lawyer Vijay Singh was re-elected as one of the vice-presidents for the party during its annual general meeting.

Mr Singh’s election for a vice-president’s post previously was nullified because he was not a financial member during the last party poll.

Ro Dona Takalaiyale and Anare Jale have taken up the remaining two vice-president slots. Mr Rabuka said Mr Singh’s appointment was symbolic and gave SODELPA credence in its claim of not being a racist iTaukei party.

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