By Talebula Kate in Suva
A possible coalition between the Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa) and the ruling FijiFirst Party — which has lost its 16-year majority in Fiji’s Parliament in this week’s general election — or the opposition People’s Alliance Party and National Federation Party partnership is still a work in progress.
Sodelpa leader Viliame Gavoka clarified this at a press conference today saying the party would need to “understand the gravity” of what was required.
He said the party would make its decision with “due process” in accordance with good practice and with approval by the management board.
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Gavoka said the party had non-negotiable issues and other issues that it could negotiate on.
“We are pretty much an iTaukei party,” he said.
“Our base is the indigenous people of this country and their issues are always paramount with us and that is very much part of those issues that we will not negotiate on.”
Decision over next few days
FijiVillage reports that Gavoka says there was no truth in comments being circulated that he had said that he would not be able to work with People’s Alliance leader Sitiveni Rabuka.
He also said that thoughts of the family of the founders of the party such as the late Laisenia Qarase would be considered before the Sodelpa management board decided on the options.
Gavoka said that a decision over the coalition government would be made over the next few days — before the 14-day deadline.
The make-up of the new 55 seat Parliament will be FijiFirst with 26 seats, the People’s Alliance Party with 21 seats, the National Federation Party with 5 seats and the Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa) with 3 seats.
In order to be able to form government 28 seats are needed.
The PAP — led by 1987 coup leader and former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka — and the National Federation Party, led by Professor Biman Prasad, formed a pre-election partnership.
But Sodelpa made no such pre-election promises.
Gavoka also has close family ties to incumbent Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s right-hand man and the Attorney-General Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum.
Talebula Kate is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.