‘Family is family, politics is politics’

Social Democratic Liberal Party president Ratu Epenisa Cakobau (right) introduces new party leader Viliame Gavoka (left) at their annual general meeting in Lami yesterday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Parliamentarian Viliame Gavoka says he will not relinquish his position as leader of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) to appease unhappy supporters who have been vocal and active critics on social media.

He also dismissed claims he would be ineffective in the role because of his relationship with Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum who is a senior member of the ruling FijiFirst party.

“I am the A-G’s father-in-law but what I keep emphasising to people is that he belongs to a party that believes that the pathway for a prosperous and peaceful Fiji is the best,” he said.

“I am in SODELPA and we all want a peaceful and prosperous Fiji but the pathway we have is different from them and is better than theirs. Family is family, politics is politics, but I tell you SODELPA way is the best way.”

Mr Gavoka also said he was satisfied with the processes which led to his appointment.

“Yes, I am very satisfied with the process. As stated, it would have been one of the most rigorous one, very comprehensive, very well structured. We all submitted our applications as to the reasons why you wanted to be the party leader.

“Change is always difficult initially but change can be managed and we are managing it.” He said Mr Rabuka was still the Opposition Leader.

“It will be decided any day now but as far as I’m concerned, the status quo stays. Honourable leader Sitiveni Rabuka is the Opposition Leader and I am the party leader.

“We will work jointly to ensure that our messaging inside Parliament is disciplined, you know, we all speak based on what we believe would be the message for the elections in 2022.”

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