Friday, April 13, 2007

Interim PM disappointed with GCC decision - Thursday April 12, 2007

Interim PM Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama
Fiji’s Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama is disappointed that the Great Council of Chiefs has rejected the President’s choice for Vice President.

The GCC yesterday advised President Ratu Josefa Iloilo that its members could not agree with his nominee - Interim Foreign Minister Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

Commodore Bainimarama said the chiefs decision is reportedly based on the premise that Ratu Epeli as Interim Minister is part of an illegal regime and should not be endorsed for that position.

"It is premature and irrational to be bringing in a reasoning such as this. It is the Judicial and Court process which will determine the legality or otherwise of the Interim Government," he said.

Commodore Bainimarama said he was totally bewildered as to why the chiefs rejected Ratu Epeli.

He added that Ratu Epeli is a man of remarkable qualities, experience and vision, having held the positions of Commander RFMF, a diplomat, Speaker of the House of Representatives and more recently as an Interim Minister.

According to the Commodore, Ratu Epeli agreed to become a part of the Interim Government when approached by the President to help move the country forward after the December 5 coup.

He said now Ratu Epeli and other Interim Ministers are being penalised for responding to a genuine call of national service and this is most regrettable and unfair.

"I expected the chiefs to be visionary and considered the bigger picture. We need to rise above our narrow agenda’s and make decision for the greater good of the country as a whole."

He added the chiefs have a role to play in the governance of the country.

However, he said it was most unfortunate the chiefs did not see it fit to make a decision based on objectiveness and facts to hand.

Commodore Bainimarama said instead of pulling together in this hour of need, they have drifted apart primarily based on prejudiced advice and personal agendas.

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