21 Sep 2007

Chiefs in Fiji's Tailevu province reject proposed People's Charter

10:12 am on 21 September 2007

Chiefs of Fiji's Tailevu province have rejected the interim government's proposal for the People's Charter for Change and Progress and its review of the Great Council of Chiefs.

Tailevu chiefs say there is no merit in the People's Charter as the 1997 Constitution is still the law and it does not provide for the setting up of such a body which should wait for an elected government.

On the review of the Great Council of Chiefs which is currently under way, the Tailevu chiefs say that the legality of the interim administration is being challenged and the 1997 Constitution is still in place.

They say therefore the Great Council must be restored to its membership, functions, operations and procedures as they existed before the military takeover.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, who is from Tailevu, says the province's chiefs are full of venom and spite and are missing the point.

Commodore Bainimarama has told Radio Legend that these chiefs are the very ones who brought Fiji to its knees in terms of stability and security and who depend on racism to keep them in power.

He says such chiefs cannot provide good leadership and see the People's Charter as a threat to their chiefly positions.

Commodore Bainimarama says the People's Charter is only to provide the basis for good governance which is characterized by stability, transparency and accountability.