Fiji’s First Coup Leader, Former PM Seeks SODELPA Leadership Post

Sitiveni Rabuka hopes to represent all in Fiji at helm of Opposition Party

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 15, 2016) – Talking about iTaukei and non-iTaukei issues is a thing of the past.

That is the view of former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka, who is in the running for the Social Democratic Liberal Party's leadership election next week.

In an interview, Mr Rabuka said everything needed to be tackled at the national leadership level, with the country's common citizenry as the foundation.

"The challenges we face are not to be compartmentalised into iTaukei or non-iTaukei issues. We must treat all things on a national interest platform," Mr Rabuka said.

He said there was no particular reason why he should be the party leader.

"I stand as an equal contestant to the others who have entered the contest. The others vying for the position of leadership in SODELPA are all men of calibre who have achieved great things in their own lives up to now.

"We all stand equal chances of becoming the party leader and it will only depend on the selection process and the vote at the general assembly."

Mr Rabuka said everything he did in the past was a challenge.

"I took nothing for granted and I treated each episode as a challenge which demanded balanced thinking and objective decisions."

Asked how he would better integrate the people of Fiji if he won the party's leadership, Mr Rabuka said he showed that when he was the PM with the support of the SVT party he led then.

On the increasing crime rate in the country against women and girls, Mr Rabuka said the rate and type of crimes committed were indicators of the moral state of the society from our leaders down to the common people.

Mr Rabuka said media freedom was very crucial for the country.

"The media are like stethoscopes and thermometers in the hands of doctors and nurses — even mothers — they indicate how healthy or ill the patient is.

"If these instruments are faulty or adjusted not to show the real situation, many patients could die sudden deaths, because their illnesses have not been accurately assessed and treatment not administered," he said, alluding to the important role the media played.

Fiji Times Online.
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