24 Nov 2004

Former Fiji prime minister says vice president must go

11:14 am on 24 November 2004

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says the Great Council of Chiefs should remove jailed vice president Seniloli and appoint a replacement immediately.

The Fiji Times quotes Mr Rabuka as saying the Great Council should have removed Seniloli when he was first convicted and jailed in early August.

Mr Rabuka says Seniloli's removal should be based on medical grounds because President Iloilo, who is 84, is not fit and well.

Mr Rabuka has blamed the delay in deciding Seniloli's fate on wrong legal advice given by the attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale.

But the chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs, Ratu Ovini Bokini, says they would visit Seniloli after receiving further advice from Mr Bale.

The Fiji Court of Appeal has rejected Seniloli's appeal against his conviction and 4-year sentence.

His lawyers are now waiting for Seniloli to decide whether he wants to appeal to the Supreme Court or have his application to be released as an extramural prisoner considered.

The decision on his release to serve his sentence from home will also be made by Mr Bale in his role as the minister for justice.