20 Feb 2008

Fiji's interim attorney general believes there's no problem with Bainimarama appointment

9:43 am on 20 February 2008

The Fiji interim government says making the Minister of Indigenous Affairs the chair of the GCC is just returning to practices of 20 years ago.

This comes after interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has been appointed the new chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs.

Commodore Bainimarama is also head of the military, co-chair of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji and he also took over the portfolio of Fijian Affairs after he renamed it Indigenous Affairs.

The interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, believes there's no problem with his latest appointment.

"It is not a question of him making itself a chairman, you look at the history of the GCC, at least from independence, the Minister of Fijian or Indigenous Affairs has always been chairperson of the GCC, only in 1993 that has been changed, so it's nothing new."

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says the head of the GCC needs to be the conduit to government and therefore has to be connected to it.