23 Jun 2004

Fiji information minister wants Epeli Ganilau to resign

3:37 pm on 23 June 2004

Fiji's information minister says the chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs should resign because of his anti-Council and anti-Government remarks.

Simione Kaitani says the Government is fed up with Ratu Epeli's constant attacks on fundamental policies endorsed by both the Council and the Government.

Mr Kaitani says Ratu Epeli's criticism of the Government's blueprint for indigenous Fijians and land administration issues contradicts the position of the Council.

He says the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has repeatedly asked Ratu Epeli to stop making contradictory remarks.

"Ratu Epeli has deliberately over the past few months been making statements totally contradicting the position of the Great Council of Chiefs. There are some fundamental policy issues of the Great Council of Chiefs that Government itself and the Great Council of Chiefs have been working together on."

Mr Kaitani says Ratu Epeli's call for the vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, to resign ahead of his High Court trial on serious coup related charges, is the last straw.

Ratu Epeli says his views have not been opposed by any one in the Council.