25 Jun 2016

Fiji's new SODELPA leader gives fresh coup apology

3:07 pm on 25 June 2016

The new leader of the main opposition SODELPA party says he has given a special apology to the women of Fiji for his part in the 1987 coups.

Sitiveni Rabuka's appointment was confirmed during Friday's annual party meeting in Suva.

Mr Rabuka led two coups in 1987 before becoming prime minister in 1992 and holding that role until losing the 1999 election.

The leader of Fiji's opposition SODELPA party, Sitiveni Rabuka.

The leader of Fiji's opposition SODELPA party, Sitiveni Rabuka. Photo: AFP

He said his first action as leader was to give an official and traditional apology for the injuries of 1987.

"During my interview it was brought up that that many women in Fiji still resent me, still reject me as a leader because of 1987."

Mr Rabuka said an apology was just an apology and the healing would have to come from within the people involved or affected.

Other high profile SODELPA members have indicated on social media that they intend to resign in the wake of Mr Rabuka's victory.

He said that was only to be expected and he accepts that reaction but the focus will be on healing, consolidate and trying to widen SODELPA's support base.

Mr Rabuka insisted the party was not split.

Sitiveni Rabuka takes over from Ro Teimumu Kepa who stood down from the role.

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