14 Jul 2008

Fiji interim prime minister to name GCC representatives from some provinces

7:34 am on 14 July 2008

Fiji's interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama may handpick up to 20 representatives to the Great Council of Chiefs after this month.

The Fiji website, Fijilive, quotes the GCC taskforce chairman, Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo, as saying this might well be the only option for the PM if not all of Fiji's 14 provinces and the Rotuma Council submit names of their nominees within the next two weeks.

Each provincial chiefs' council has to nominate three representatives.

He said so far 15 names have been submitted from the provinces of Lau, Macuata, Bua, Serua and Rotuma.

Another six members to be nominated by the Indigenous Affairs Minister would take the confirmed numbers to 21.

However, this will be short of the 35 members required for the 52-member new-look GCC to meet.

Ratu Josateki said if that is the case then the interim prime minister will pick chiefs from the dissident provinces despite their provincial councils' opposition.