21 Dec 2006

Fiji's Great Council expected to announce its response to military coup tomorrow

7:49 pm on 21 December 2006

Fiji's high chiefs are expected to make a decision tomorrow over how to resolve the current crisis in the country.

The Great Council of Chiefs - representing 14 indigenous provinces in Fiji - is resuming talks tomorrow in a bid to reach a consensus on the matter.

The crux of the issue is a proposal recommending immunity for the military in return for handing over power to the ousted president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo.

The traditional confederacies of Kubuna and Burebasaga have reportedly reached agreement over the proposal but the chiefs from the Tovata confederacy have said that individual provincial chiefs should have their own say.

The chiefs are also expected to decide whether they still recognise the position of the ousted president and vice president or whether they recognise the military commander as the acting head of state.

Under the proposal currently before the chiefs, the military would hand executive authority back to the president, in return for immunity from prosecution.

The proposal also includes the resignation of the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, the dissolution of parliament and the formation of a civilian Interim Government of National Unity.