30 Nov 2007

Fiji Military Council denies any role in anticipated Cabinet reshuffle

10:48 am on 30 November 2007

Fiji's Military Council has denied that it is playing any role in the cabinet reshuffle which is expected to be announced tomorrow.

The military spokesman, Lt Col Mosese Tikoitoga, says the military council does not advise the interim prime minister on the affairs of the government, nor does it advise on the reshuffle of cabinet.

He was commenting on a report that the cabinet reshuffle was discussed at the military council meeting this week.

Lt Col Tikoitoga says changes in the cabinet are solely the prerogative of the interim prime minister who could discuss the matter with the military council but at the end of the day the decision would be his.

Commodore Bainimarama said two weeks ago that he would reduce the size of the cabinet to 13 and announce a reshuffle to coincide with the 2008 budget announcement last Friday.

Although the budget contained details of changes in the makeup of ministries and reallocation of portfolios, no changes to the ministers were mentioned.

But speculation in the Fiji media is that the minister for tourism, Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau; the minister for agriculture, Jainend Kumar; the minister for public service, Poseci Bune, and the minister for lands, Tevita Vuibau, will be dropped.