3 Feb 2017

Veteran Fijian politician moves from Sodelpa to HOPE

6:48 am on 3 February 2017

The veteran Fijian politician Tupeni Baba has stepped down from the opposition Sodelpa party and joined the proposed HOPE party.

A founder of HOPE, Pita Waqavonovono, says Dr Baba has agreed to be an advisor to his group which plans to register as a political party before the next election due by September next year.

Dr Baba is a former academic and deputy prime minister and foreign minister in Mahendra Chaudhry's government which was deposed during the 2000 coup.

He helped to found Sodelpa, Fiji's main opposition party.

The Fiji Times quotes him as saying his decision to break away from the party was not an easy one, but he had a lot to offer the proposed party which is women and youth-centred.

The paper reports he was concerned at the change in leadership of the party, now headed by Sitiveni Rabuka, the former colonel and coup leader who later served as prime minister in the 1990s.