27 Jun 2005

Fiji Chiefs confirm they discussed deadlock over Reconciliation Bill with President

7:17 pm on 27 June 2005

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs has confirmed reports that some of its members visited the president about the deadlock between the government and the military over the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The chairman of the GCC, Ratu Ovini Bokini, says a delegation met with Ratu Josefa Iloilo three weeks ago to see if he could resolve the standoff.

A Fiji Times report says the government sent the contingent because it was facing an uphill battle with the president, who has sided with the military on the bill.

It was rumoured in the report that the group asked Ratu Josefa to resign.

Ratu Ovini denies this and says the GCC instigated the visit itself.

"We went and saw him and asked him if he could do something about the standoff between the two, the government and the military."

Ratu Ovini declined to comment further, saying their discussions were confidential.