21 Feb 2008

Fiji's acting interim Prime Minister says Cabinet made decision to appoint Bainimarama

9:29 am on 21 February 2008

Fiji's acting interim Prime Minister, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, says Cabinet deviated from the recommendation of the Great Council of Chiefs Task Force.

Ratu Epeli told Fiji Times Cabinet made the decision because it felt that the Minister for Fijian Affairs Commodore Frank Bainimarama should not only be a member but also Chair the GCC.

He says the new Fijian Affairs Regulation 2008 which governs the administration of the GCC is clear on the issue.

Ratu Epeli says Regulation 3 clearly stipulates that the Minister shall be Chairperson of the Council.

He says Cabinet made this decision to ensure a direct link between the GCC and the Government through the Office of the Minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs.

Ratu Epeli says said Commodore Bainimarama did not directly appoint himself as GCC Chairperson.