16 Apr 2007

Fiji's Ba province backs interim government in stoush with GCC

3:35 pm on 16 April 2007

Fiji's biggest indigenous Fijian province, Ba, has given its full support to the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama's decision to suspend the Great Council of Chiefs and close down its secretariat.

Commodore Bainimarama took the action after the chiefs rejected President Iloilo's nomination of the interim foreign minister, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, to be the new vice president.

The traditional spokesman for the province of Ba, Ratu Tevita Momoedonu, has told the Fiji Sun newspaper that they support the suspension because two confederacies, Burebasaga and Kubuna, rejected the nomination when Ba supported it.

Ratu Tevita says the very confederacies that should have supported the nomination went against it.

He says another reason for supporting the suspension is that some of the chiefs in the Great Council claim to represent their provinces but live in Suva and do not visit the people in their villages.

Ratu Tevita says the chiefs of Ba will meet next week and pay a courtesy call on President Iloilo to show him their support.