17 Dec 2008

Fiji president sees leadership crisis among Fijians

2:40 pm on 17 December 2008

The President of Fiji, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, has warned chiefs that indigenous Fijians are facing a leadership crisis.

Speaking at a chiefly gathering organised by the military in Nabua, Ratu Josefa likened the crisis to a canoe with broken oars in a storm.

According to the Fiji Times, he has also expressed sadness upon learning that some chiefs who had sat at the previous such chiefly meeting were absent.

The military commander and interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, told the meeting that some still questioned the legitimacy of the interim government.

He says the recent court ruling in the Laisenia Qarase case had legitimised the decision of the President and anyone still in disagreement should seek legal redress.

Mr Qarase has appealed the decision.

The military commander seized power in a coup two years ago, and for a month he claimed to be president while Ratu Josefa remained silent about the military's actions.