18 Nov 2004

Rabuka says jailed Fiji vice president should be stripped of the role

9:00 pm on 18 November 2004

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says jailed vice president Seniloli should not return to his office if he is released to serve his four-year sentence extramurally.

Mr Rabuka has told Radio Legend the fact remains that Seniloli is a convicted prisoner and he should not be the vice president, even if he is released under a compulsory supervision order.

Mr Rabuka says he believes that once convicted, a person cannot expect to carry on in a public office which carries respect.

He says to uphold the sanctity of the vice presidency, Seniloli should vacate it or the Great Council of Chiefs should appoint a replacement.

Mr Rabuka also says the Great Council should look for an independent legal adviser as the incumbent, Qoriniasi Bale, is the attorney general and minister for justice.

In the Seniloli case, Mr Bale is advising the government as well as the Great Council of Chiefs and he is also the minister responsible for making a decision on whether Seniloli should be released to serve his sentence extramurally.