Friday, November 9, 2018

Hear what Ro Tupou Draunidalo and the other Party Leaders had to say on StraightTalk


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Ro Tupou Draunidalo is the daughter of former Deputy PM the late Ro Kuini Speed, a paramount Chief from Nadroga/Navosa, who was deposed in the 2000 coup. Her stepfather Timoci Bavadra was PM for a few months before being ousted in the 1987 coup led by now SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka. She has a law degree from ANU. 


With such a background it is no wonder that that she has been engaged in Fiji politics for many years.

In 2006 she condemned the Bainimarama coup and the legitimacy of his Cabinet. Soon afterwards she was briefly arrested. Later that year she was charged with contempt of court for saying she had lost faith in the judiciary. The charge was withdrawn but the High Court awarded costs against her accuser, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. In 2014 she was elected as President of the NFP and became an MP in the election. She was suspended from Parliament for remarks she made against Minister of Education, Dr Mahendra Reddy, and resigned from the NFP and Parliament.

Now the founder of the HOPE (Humanity. Opportunity, Prosperity, Equality) party, she has an outside chance of returning to Parliament. The party is fielding 28 candidates, 18 of whom are women, the highest by far of any party.

She is a person who favours dialogue, who listens to all, but who will not compromise on principle.

Her interview on StraightTalk last week tells much about her and what HOPE stands for.

She condemns all of Fiji's coups and left the NFP when it leaned towards a coalition with SODELPA, headed by Sitiveni Rabuka who lead the first coup in 1987.

She considers the 2013 Constitution legal arguing, as a lawyer, that the 1997 constitution was annulled by force and replaced by a new constitution approved by the majority of the people. She wants, however, to see the decrees passed by the military government before 2014 which were included in the constitution, removed.  SODELPA seeks a return to the 1997 constitution.

She will listen to what the people want about re-instating the Great Council of Chiefs (though not with its former political powers) and about returning to the earlier way Taukei land rent money was allocated (hierarchically with the chiefs receiving most and commoner Taukei very little) or staying with equal distribution.
She supports multiculturalism, a higher minimum wage, foreign and local investment, especially in tourism and the sugar industry, and wants the office of the Attorney-General de-politicised.

She will not form a coalition with SODELPA as long as it is lead by Rabuka.

■ Hear what she had to say on StraightTalk by clicking here.

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To hear  what the other political leader had to say, click their hyperlink.
■ Voqere Bainimarama and Ro Teimumu Kepa, click here.
■  NFP leader Dr Biman Prasad, click here.
■ FijiFirst's Aiyaz Sayer-Khaiyum, click here.
■  SODELPA's Sitiveni Rabuka, click  here.
■ Unity Fiji's Savenaca Narube, click here.

The debate between Voqere Bainimarama and Sitiveni Rabuka was in Taukei and unfortunately has been removed from YouTube.

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