Ruling accepted; we will fight on for our voters: SODELPA leader

Viliame Gavoka says while he accepts the court of disputed return’s ruling on the matter relating to Mosese Bulitavu, the decision to take the case beyond the parliament if anything shows that SODELPA will not let up in ensuring that their members honour their obligations to the party in particular to their voters.

In his ruling, Chief Justice Kamal Kumar ascertained that there was no clear directive to Bulitavu to vote against the Budget for 2021/2022 and against Bill 17. Additionally, there was no way to determine if Bulitavu had voted for the two bills as voting was by acclamation, effectively allowing Bulitavu to keep his parliamentary seat.

“I have accepted the ruling by the Chief Justice and urge our members to move on,” the SODELPA leader said in a statement. “The SODELPA parliamentarians were voted into parliament by some 181,072 SODELPA voters, who every day watch how their parliamentarians behave. We all witnessed what Bulitavu did, and I took the actions on their behalf.

“First it was to the Speaker in exercise of Section 63 (1) (h), and Section 63 (3) of the 2013 Constitution, and when that failed, I took it up with the Court of Disputed Returns also allowed in the Constitution, Section 66 (1) (b) and Section 66 (5) (a). This is the first time Section 63 (1) (h) has been tested by the Court of Disputed Return since the Constitution came into effect in 2013. This section was not available in 1970, 1990, and 1997 Constitutions.

“Yes, we lost before the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice in the Court of Disputed Return, but it does not mean that we will let up in monitoring the performance of the parliamentarians in honouring their obligations to fight for issues important to SODELPA.

“If anything, they should know that we will go to this length at any time they fail to support the position of the Party.”

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