3 Feb 2009

Fiji's permanent secretary to local government says council reform legal

4:08 pm on 3 February 2009

Fiji's permanent secretary to Local Government, Ram Chandra, says moves to reform municipal councils are legal, and councils haven't been scrapped altogether.

Last year, cabinet decided to shorten the mayoral and councillor terms from four to three years, and their contracts expired last month.

He says municipal elections will be held again following a major reforms of the way the country's 12 municipal councils operate.

In the meantime, town clerks have been appointed CEO's, and shortly special administors will be selected to assist them in an effort to make councils run more efficiently.

"What the government has done through the promulgation changing the existing laws which was done by His Excellency the President, it's been reduced to three years. So as far as the law, legal or legality of the idea, it's all within the frame of the law. So there is no dissolution of the councils, its just that their terms expired, which means that they will wait for next election."

Ram Chandra says no date has been set yet for this year's municipal elections.