18 Jan 2007

Moves in Fiji to reconcile chiefs and interim regime

7:13 pm on 18 January 2007

There were moves in Fiji today to try and heal the rift between the country's chiefs and the military backed interim regime.

The new interim Fijian Affairs Minister met the head of the Great Council of Chiefs in what could be seen as the first attempt to mend the differences between the parties since the December coup.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau said the GCC chairman, Ratu Ovini Bokini, paid him a courtesy visit to congratulate him on his appointment and to express the council's support for the interim administration.

The GCC had intially opposed the army takeover on December 5th, but did a u-turn once executive authority was restored to the president.

Ratu Epeli said today's meeting was a success.

"We've been able to heal the differences that existed in the past weeks between the GCC and perhaps the military and some members of the current administration."

Ratu Bokini declined to comment on the meeting, saying it would breach Fijian protocol.