12 Apr 2007

Fiji interim PM and Fijian Affairs Minister to boycott Great Council meeting

10:10 am on 12 April 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, and the minister for Fijian affairs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, will not attend today's meeting of the Great Council of chiefs.

Radio Legend reports that this follows yesterdays' rejection by the chiefs of President Iloilo's nomination of Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to be the next vice president.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau has told the radio station it is clear that members of the Great Council do not recognize the interim government.

He says it would therefore be pointless to brief the council on the progress and plans of the interim administration, including its clean-up campaign.

Ratu Epeli says it is sad to see that chiefs from Burebasaga and Kubuna confederacies rejected the president's nomination which is the first such rejection ever.

The Fijian affairs minister says it seems some chiefs in the council may be pushing their own political agenda.

Sources within the meeting have been quoted as saying that it was Ro Teimumu Kepa of the Burebasaga Confederacy and Ratu Epenisa Cakobau of the Kubuna Confederacy who led the attack against Ratu Epeli Nailatikau's nomination.

Meanwhile, today's meeting of the Great Council of Chiefs is expected to discuss the December military takeover, its clean-up campaign and ways to move the country forward.