Social Democratic Liberal Party
Published 3rd July, 2014
The Social Democratic Liberal Party or SODELPA was formed in January 2013 after the dissolution of the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (United National Party – SDL). In January 2013 the Fijian regime required that registered parties must register under an English name, so the SDL was dissolved and reformed as SODELPA. The party took its new name so that it could keep the old acronym SDL which was well known by the voters, but the regime ruled that acronyms of former parties could not be used, hence the new and somewhat clumsy SODELPA acronym.
The SDL was founded in 2001 by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase as a power base. It won the 2001 election with 31 of the 71 seats in the House of Representatives and again in 2006 with 36 seats.
Soon after the election the military and government disagreed over three bills going through parliament relating to the 2000 coup. In November Commodore Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama made nine demands of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase but on 4th/5th December the military carried out a coup d’état.
In 2013 SODELPA decided to join forces with the Fiji Labour Party (FLP) and the National Federation Party (NFP) to form an alliance called the United Front for a Democratic Fiji.