22 Oct 2007

Questions remain over Fiji president's ability to do his job

3:35 pm on 22 October 2007

A Fiji human rights commissioner is concerned about whether the country's president is fit to be able to make his own decisions.

The interim prime minister and the president's secretary maintain that President Ratu Josefa Iloilo's ill health and old age do not hamper his ability to do his job.

But Shamima Ali dismisses this and says there is concern that the president is unfit to make decisions and fulfill his role.

"The presidential role at this point requires a lot more interaction between the president and the people. Concern is that given his age and health, which hasn't been too good, whether he is being manipulated and used by certain sections of the interim regime."

Shamima Ali is anxious that the 86-year-old president might do things the interim regime wants him to do, rather than stand up for his own ideas.

President Iloilo made no comment last year when the military commander purported to be the president for a month after the coup.