Dismissal Reasons Unclear – Way Forward To Be Discussed At Party Meeting Today
Terminated member of the Fiji Coalition cabinet and SODELPA MP Aseri Radrodro is clueless as to the reasons of his dismissal yet suspects that it may be related to the appointment of the Fiji National Uni Council Chair.
Speaking to MaiTV, Radrodro said he was not consulted, nor relayed the reasons for his dismissal. He is also not sure whether he remains an MP.
The decision spelt out in a statement released by the Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, yesterday evening citing “insubordination and disobedience” caught not only Radrodro off guard, but also other key cabinet members.
“I was at FTA Hall having an informal session with the FTA president and his fellow colleagues. I was delivered the letter there a little after 7pm, after the issue had broken on the Fiji Government page. As of right now it is not clear, the letter that I have been delivered is not clear. It just says that I have been terminated from cabinet. There are no further discussions on that. I will await the party’s decision. The party is meeting today to discuss this matter.”
Radrodro remains adamant that the appointment process which led to Semesa Karavaki assuming the FNU Council Chair over Dr Kesaia Seniloli was constitutional and in accordance with the FNU Act. The Act required that he consult the council in appointing the Chair.
Dr Seniloli was initially appointed to the role by Radrodro in February 2023. She headed a 12-member council with Karavaki as Deputy Chair. Three months later, Dr Seniloli was reportedly ousted from the role which was taken up by Karavaki in an acting capacity. It is unclear when Karavaki assumed the role permanently, but June media reports referred to him as the Council Chair.
It is believed that the change in chairmanship came about after Radrodro was told that he had erred in law in exercising his right as the Minister in appointing Dr Seniloli as Council Chair. The correct provision under the FNU Act that applies to the appointment process of chair required that he consulted the council. The consultation and the resulting outcome that saw Karavaki assuming the role permanently, is believed to be the reason for his dismissal.
Radrodro said he called SODELPA Party Leader Bill Gavoka last night, after he received the letter, to check if he was made aware of the termination.
“I wanted to know if he, as Party Leader, had been consulted about my removal and he confirmed that he had received the communication from the Prime Minister that he was going to remove me.”
Radrodro added that the next step was to attend the SODELPA meeting today where the way forward will be discussed.