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Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu is Fiji’s new leader of Opposition

 Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has been appointed as Fiji’s new Leader of Opposition. 

The appointment follows the resignation of former Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka Monday. 

Rabuka tendered his resignation letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, after delivering his response to the opening address by President Jioji Konrote in Parliament. 

Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya confirmed that 14 members of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) voted for Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu while five members voted for SODELPA leader Viliame Gavoka. 

Tabuya conducted the meeting and abstained from voting. 

When she was asked names of MPs that voted for Gavoka, Tabuya said she would not be able to reveal it. 

SODELPA MP Ratu Suliano Matanitobua had nominated Ratu Naiqama’s name in Parliament, seconded by Adi Litia Qionibaravi and his appointment was confirmed by the Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. 

Meanwhile, newly-appointed Opposition Leader Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu says he was honoured to have been elected to be the leader of the largest party not in government. 

Before delivering his response to the opening address by President Jioji Konrote in Parliament this morning, Ratu Naiqama said it was not an easy task to fill in the big shoes left vacant by his predecessor Sitiveni Rabuka. 

“I’ll be banking on the support of the honourable members of the Opposition, and that I wish to also mention my gratitude to the honourable members of our caucus and also of the great support of the National Federation Party,” Ratu Naiqama said. 

“It’s quite a challenge and I hope to play my part – the part that the Opposition plays all along and that is to try and show not only to this August House but more so to the people of Fiji that we are the alternate government. 

“It is our duty to provide constructive criticism and offer better ways in achieving greater results from whatever government programmes that are brought before this House,” he added.


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