21 Aug 2007

Review of Fiji's GCC to go ahead despite pending court action

8:08 am on 21 August 2007

A review of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs is to go ahead despite a pending court action.

The interim minister for Fijian affairs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, has named a high powered team, all of them influential former members of the Great Council, to carry it out.

They are Bau high chief Ratu Tu'uakitau Cokanauto as chairman, Ratu Talemo Ratakele from Cakaudrove, Rewa chief Ro Epeli Mataitini, Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo from Kadavu, Ratu Jone Nakautoga from Ba and Mavana chief Ratu Josefa Basulau from Lau.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau says the members of the team have been drawn from a wide cross-section of chiefly households in Fiji and had offered to undertake the task after they were invited.

He says he is not worried about opposition from sacked members of the Great Council of Chiefs some of whom have started legal action.

The interim minister says the country has to move forward and the review will go on unless the court makes a decision.

Some of the sacked chiefs have applied for constitutional redress because they want to remain members of the Great Council as it was constituted.

They were sacked in April.