All casual appointments of the SODELPA Party will remain until annual general meeting later this year.
The clarification comes as the Office of the Registrar of Political parties responded to a letter by a SODELPA Party official Taitusi Kata of Namoli village seeking clarification.
According to the SODELPA party General Secretary Emele Duituturaga, she only came to know of the letter to one of the party constituency presidents when informed that a reply to the letter by the Fijian Elections Office was circulating on social media.
Among other things, the letter states that the Registrar of Political Parties in analyzing the lifting of the suspension has noted from the Social Democratic Liberal Party Constitution that the Annual General Meeting shall be held no later than 30th June every year.
In light of this, the Registrar is of the view that the appointment by the management board for casual vacancies for the position of president and vice presidents has lapsed.
However according to Duituturaga, before the party was suspended, the party was required to issue the 21 day notice which she says the party has done.
“On this matter the view of the management board I have expressed previously that the casual vacancies are extended until we have a special general meeting or an annual general meeting,” Duituturaga said.
Therefore, the casual vacancies are extended until SODELPA holds a special General Meeting or an Annual General Meeting.
“Since consulting with members of the party, seeking advice including the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties. I just wanted to say that is where I’m at. As far as I’m concerned there is a notice out. 21 days notice has gone. We have a special General Meeting and the general assembly of the party is the supreme authority. If there is anything else to that I will be making a statement in a day or so.”
Duituturaga explained that there have been very clear resolutions from the management board about the issue and that the party constitution says the annual general meeting has to be held before the 30th of June.
However, she explained the special general meeting has a special resolution asking the members to approve that the Annual General meeting will be held in four months.
“Well the Registrar of Political Parties was responding to a query to his office. That was not a letter to my office. So I can’t comment on a communication that is directed at my office. As far as we’re concerned, we have issued that 21 days notice. Of course as the new GS and new registered officer of the party, if there needs to be a variation to that notice, that I would need to seek advice on that.”
Duituturaga insists that before the suspension was lifted, the party met the requirement from the Registrar of Political Parties to issue the 21 days notice.
“What is encouraging shall I say is the last night that says the Registrar of Political Parties is an independent office and leave sit to SODELPA to handle this matter appropriately. And so the management board of SODELPA is the governing board and above the management board is the General Assembly, we had issued a notice for the General Assembly. So as a registered officer, unless the POffice of the Regsitar says otherwise, we are proceeding and the General Assembly itself has that authority, but as I said I will be seeking more consultations and as the registered officer I am obliged and I’m responsible for holding the interest of the Party – the interest of the Party is paramount.”
Duitututaga is expected to make further declarations over the next few days following consultations and advice by the management board.