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Teimumu Kepa speech unnerves Bainimarama

March 11, 2014

 As expected the Social Democratic Liberal Party has chosen Rewa chief, Ro Teimumu Kepa, as its leader. The former SDL MP unveiled in her speech on being selected what she and the party stand for – a speech that prompted a claim of ‘fear mongering’ by coup leader Frank Bainimarama. We note Bainimarama’s lengthy diatribe was covered by the Fiji Sun, which ignored Teimumu’s speech. We also note with some mirth that Bainimarama’s reply could only have been penned by the Qorvis team. Teimumu is a learned and articulate woman and can write her own speeches and media statements. The same cannot be said for Bainimarama who could not have mustered such a sentence as this: “She demonstrably avoids talking about the need to deliver basic services to ordinary Fijians”. Now that is demonstrable ongoing-propaganda at taxpayers expense.

I send my greetings to the people of Fiji and to the many

“I AM READY:” Ro Teimumumu Kepa.

supporters of SODELPA here and throughout the country. The people of Rewa Province send the delegates their best wishes and want you to know that they are with us. Let me express on behalf of SODELPA, a message of goodwill to our colleagues from the Fiji Labour Party and the National Federation Party. We have often been on opposite sides.

But I am pleased to tell you that the crisis in our country has brought us together through the political movement, the United Front for a Democratic Fiji. The United Front is based on a shared determination to defeat the forces of those who stole the last elected government. The values and principles that bind the United Front are those of democracy, truth, rights, the rule of law and accountability to the people.

We will go to the elections as individual parties with our own manifestos, but co-operating where possible, especially in getting a high turnout of voters. My friends, there comes a moment in the life of a nation when its people are called to make great decisions to protect and save their homeland. That moment has arrived for Fiji. We are called now to save our country. We must rededicate Fiji to God, and, with His support, take its destiny into our hands. 

We should look at this as our sacred duty. I did not at first actively seek the positions of leader and president of the Social Democratic Liberal Party as I was very much involved with my traditional obligations to my province and people. But I heard deep in my heart the cry of our islands. I listened; I prayed long and hard and the answers came. And, now, here I am. I am ready.

I am so very honoured to be elected unanimously to lead SODELPA and sincerely thank other candidates who withdrew in my favour. I announce today that I have offered myself for selection as a general election candidate. I give myself to this party and I give myself to the people. My courage will not falter as we move along the hazardous path back to freedom, legitimate constitutional rule and representative democracy. 

I will be there for you, to speak out for a Fiji free of fear and oppression; a Fiji of respect and compassion, social justice, the rule of law and economic progress that creates the jobs we desperately need. Those who took over the state and its government by force of arms are still seen as a threat. They will be reluctant to give up their power. 

We must show them that we have power as well. It is the sovereign power of the people; this is the highest authority and it will prevail. All of us, walking side by side, will put right the wrongs of the last seven years. We must go forward to a glorious future of limitless potential, abundant opportunity and enduring prosperity. United in this mighty mission, we can finally become all we can be and take our place again with pride among the democratic family of nations. On Wednesday we witnessed the resignation from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces of Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama. We welcome that.

We look forward to taking him on in a free and fair election and subjecting him to a resounding defeat. His successor, Brigadier-General MoseseTikoitoga, has pledged that the military will be independent, above politics, and respect the will of the people. We will hold him to that. I invite Brigadier-General TIkoitoga to immediately make a solemn declaration that under his command there will be no more beatings, no more threats and no more unwelcome trips to the barracks. He needs to do this in light of continuing public fears and concerns. We should remind ourselves that despite the change at the RFMF, Fiji is still a dictatorship. 

Decisions are made by the few, there is no consultation with political parties, information is withheld, and oppressive, anti-democratic laws remain in place. Military officers occupy many crucial positions in government. We urge Commodore Bainimarama in his role as interim prime minister to do the right thing by the country and the people. He should move now to address these problems and create the right environment for the elections.

On this day I declare to you before the nation that SODELPA will always recognize the supreme presence and power of Almighty God. He is the source of divine blessing not only for us as individuals and members of communities, but also for Fiji as a nation. The elected leaders in Parliament who promulgated the constitutions of 1970 and 1997 all recognized this fundamental and eternal truth. And they made sure this was acknowledged in the preamble to these constitutions.

Contrast this wisdom of our nation’s former leaders, all democratically elected by the people, to the arrogance of Commodore Bainimarama and his unelected oligarchy. They see no place for God in their 2013 Constitution. They made this decision without the permission of the people and then declared that it had our approval. How dare they? By what right did they say we had agreed?The Bainimarama-Sayed-Khaiyum constitution tells us that we have religious liberty and that we can practice our faiths privately and publicly. But, ladies and gentlemen, we are seeing serious contradictions in this hastily assembled document.

Source – C4.5, Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM
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