9 Jan 2009

Fiji party challenges chiefly privileges

2:34 pm on 9 January 2009

A nationalist party born out of the 2000 coup in Fiji has challenged the political power of chiefs and their share from land rentals and royalties.

The Conservative Alliance/Matanitu Vanua party secretary, Ropate Sivo, says grassroot Fijians want to have a democratic say in the election of chiefs, and not have them imposed by a Government department like the Native Land Commission.

He says people also want to have a say in the remuneration given to chiefs and not have to be taxed at the rate determined by a Government department.

Mr Sivo says the current system where chiefs take about a third of the royalties as by right of birth is unjust.