30 Apr 2002

Some Fiji MPs reject calls for an expatriate to replace Police Commissioner Isikia Savua

11:49 am on 30 April 2002

There's some opposition in Fiji to the proposal that the new commissioner of police to succeed Colonel Isikia Savua should be an expatriate.

The proposal came at the Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry with comments that the current commissioner is a local and a Fijian, and Fijian traditional ties have been getting in the way of his responsibilities.

But the United General Party wants the new commissioner to be someone suitably qualified, and only if no suitable person is found should the search go overseas.

UGP President, Mick Beddoes, says locals should not be arbitrarily disqualified because the current commissioner has not performed satisfactorily

Mr Beddoes says the appointing authorities should take heed of the people's concerns and appoint people whose character, experience and work ethics generate confidence at all levels.

The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre says assistant commissioner, Moses Driver, is the best person to replace Col Savua.

But the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says an expatriate must be appointed at least for two or three years to rebuild morale and efficiency in the force.

Col Savua is to become Fiji's ambassador to the United Nations in June and the commissioner of prisons, Aisea Taoka, is tipped to replace him.