Laisenia Qarase Ineligible To Lead Fiji’s

admin's picture

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Party says no discussions yet on possible replacement

By Mereani Gonedua

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 6, 2013) – Fiji’s Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) is yet to select its leader.

Former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase was eyed to take the leadership role of the party but his recent conviction rules him out.

Qarase has been convicted of abuse of office charges and this under the Political Parties Decree does not favor him.

According to the decree a person is disqualified from being an applicant or a member of a proposed political party if that person has been declared an undischarged bankrupt or been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not less than 6 months. The decree then states that a person is also disqualified from being an office holder of a political party for the same reasons.

SODELPA general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu told FijiLive no discussions have taken place regarding a new party leader as they were hoping to get a favorable response from court regarding an application made by Qarase to dismiss his charges and convictions.

The Appeals Court in Suva last week dismissed the application therefore SODELPA will now have no choice but to elect a new leader.

SODELPA is expected to meet today, however Tabaiwalu said the party is now being led by party executives, which sees Ro Teimumu Kepa as their president.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment