11 Sep 2007

Some Fiji provinces seek changes to Great Council of Chiefs

9:41 am on 11 September 2007

At least some of Fiji's indigenous Fijian provinces are reported to have backed a proposal to exclude the president, the vice president and the prime minister from membership of the new-look Great Council of Chiefs.

This has been revealed by the secretary of the special taskforce which is reviewing the Great Council, Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo.

Ratu Josateki has told Radio Legend that the president, the vice president and the prime minister have a number of roles to play in the government and in their traditional positions.

He says the prime minister has a political role and the review team has decided that the Great Council of Chiefs should stand aloof from politics and whatever political party that may be in government.

The review team has also received proposals that chiefs who are members of political parties not be permitted to be members of the Great Council.

Two ministers of the deposed SDL government who were also high chiefs, Ro Teimumu Kepa and Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, were members of the Great Council of Chiefs which was sacked in April.