3 Feb 2006

Fiji president available for second term - report

9:17 am on 3 February 2006

Fiji's president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, is reported to be "available" to serve a second term in office.

Several earlier reports had said that the 85 year old President Iloilo would be stepping down at the end of his current term next month and that intense lobbying was under way to choose his successor.

But a statement from the secretariat of the Great Council of Chiefs says President Iloilo has indicated he is available to serve a second term.

The Great Council will meet next month to appoint the president and the vice president.

The Citizens Constitutional Forum says the connection of Ratu Josefa Iloilo and Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi is a "formidable partnership."

The CCF's executive director, the Rev Akuila Yabaki, says "it might not be a bad decision at this time of continuing unease with the country's political leadership."

The Rev Yabaki says "this is provided Ratu Josefa feels equal to the task, given the understandable sensitivity many people feel about his personal wellbeing."