Rabuka: Expect robust debates

SODELPA party leader Sitiveni Rabuka joined by the party's youth members during their post elections get together in Suva yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

SOCIAL Democratic Liberal Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka says Fijians should expect robust discussions from SODELPA when they enter Parliament.

The former prime minister said they knew they would be representing almost 50 per cent of the voting population in Parliament.

The party received the second highest votes of 181,072, equivalent to 39.85 per cent of the 458,532 votes cast.

SODELPA will make up 21 seats of the 24-member Opposition in the new Parliament make-up.

“It would be a more effective Opposition because we are now established. We know that we are representing almost 50 per cent of the voters,” Mr Rabuka said.

“We have their backing and we’d like to thank them and would like to assure them that we will fight their cause to the best of our ability in Parliament and contribute effectively to national debate and also to national policy formulation.”

Looking back, he said it had been good, but the journey had been a hard fight.

“We have not accepted the results. We feel the grievances that we have brought to the attention of the Electoral Commission are unsatisfactorily answered, but in the meantime as far as we are concerned, this is the worst case,” he said.

“This worst case is very good because it shows a six-seat improvement which is 60 per cent of our achievement in 2014.

“As I’ve said right from the beginning of the campaign and awareness, it’s always very difficult to unseat an incumbent party. What we have achieved is a reflection of the amount of work and dedication shown by the party workers; those in the constituencies and in the last few days by the volunteers who had come forward to support us.”

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