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Fiji Opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Sitiveni Rabuka has ruled out any talk of a coalition with the National Federation Party (NFP).
He made the comment during a forum in Nadi on Tuesday night that was attended by the NFP leader Prof Biman Prasad and other Opposition members of Parliament.
In response to a question from the floor during the Opposition Leaders’ listening tour, Rabuka said the tour was organised by the NFP and SODELPA came on board at their invitation.
“They invited us so we decided to come with them,” Rabuka said.
He said the NFP and the then Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei (SVT), which he headed, had worked together before. He said he had worked with the NFP in 1996 “and then the 1997 Constitution was implemented”.
“Then we stood together in the 1999 elections but we were defeated.
“But we will not have a coalition like we did in 1999.
“The two parties must be respected for their own characteristics.” Rabuka acknowledged the NFP as the oldest political party in Fiji.
“They have their own characteristics and we must respect that.
“They have the confidence of a big part of the population of Fiji.
“They have looked after their interest since the first indentured labourers came and since we started talking about the landownership and tenants’ relationship.”
Prof Prasad informed those gathered at the forum that SODELPA and NFP were two separate parties. He said certain media organisations were speculating the listening tour was a coalition in the making.
“I know what their agenda is,” he said.
“They want to create fear and animosity in this country,” he said.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
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