Veteran Fiji Politican Leaves Social Democratic Liberals For New Hope Party

Dr Tupeni Baba frustrated by stagnation of SODELPA; appointment of 'coup man' Rabuka as leader

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 2, 2017) – Veteran politician and one of the founding members of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Dr Tupeni Baba has resigned.

Dr Baba confirmed his resignation from the party yesterday and will join the proposed Hope Party as its adviser ahead of the 2018 General Election.

The academic expects other resignations to follow from within the party in the coming months.

"SODELPA has been infested with people who can't move, it's been top-heavy and this (resignation) will create a bit of a movement," Dr Baba said.

He said his reason to leave was because the party got stuck since its former leader Laisenia Qarase was jailed in 2012.

Dr Baba said the party had also gone against its own democratic constitution by appointing Sitiveni Rabuka as its new leader.

"A coup man came in and the essence of SODELPA was democracy, the party to be absolutely democratic. We developed a democratic constitution, everything was decided by majority and then we had a new leadership," he said.

Dr Baba said the party's leadership was rooted in the coup. He said his decision to break away from a party which he started in 2012 was not an easy one, but he had a lot to offer to the proposed party which is women and youth-centred.

Yesterday, party general secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi wished Dr Baba well. Adi Litia said the resignation would not affect the party.

"SODELPA will continue and we are becoming stronger than ever," she said.

Mr Rabuka had already outlined that if people had any problems with the party to come forward and tell him directly.

Fiji Times Online.
Copyright © 2017 Fiji Times Online. All Rights Reserved

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