Friday, April 13, 2007

President, Interim PM boycott GCC meet - Thursday April 12, 2007

President Ratu Josefa Iloilo
Fiji’s President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and Interim Fijian Affairs Minister Ratu Epeli Ganilau are boycotting the Great Council of Chiefs meeting today.

The President’s secretary Rupeni Nacewa said Ratu Josefa was scheduled to attend today’s session but is not present.

Nacewa agreed with Ratu Epeli’s comments that the President and Commodore Bainimarama have decided not to attend today’s meeting after the chiefs rejected Ratu Josefa’s nominee for the post of Vice President.

Ratu Epeli said he is frustrated that the GCC has not respected protocol.

"Together with President Ratu Josefa Iloilo and Interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, we have decided not to attend the meeting."

"If they (chiefs) don’t respect the President’s decision than we have no business in the meeting because it would be pointless if we attend."

He said it was evident during the first day of the meeting that most of the chiefs from the 14 provinces were against the decision of the president.

"It is fair to say the least that they have not followed protocol and they should have endorsed the choice of the President."

Ratu Epeli said he was angry with the decision which did not go down well with the Interim Administration.

"The President had nominated Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to become the Vice President and what was hard for them to decide because we are trying to move forward in these trying times."

"Whatever action we will take next will depend on the Interim Prime Minister and we will make a statement soon."

The chiefs from the Kubuna and Burebasaga confederacies yesterday rejected Ratu Epeli Nailatikau’s name saying as Interim Foreign Affairs Minister he was associated with an illegal government

However, Commodore Bainimarama and Ganilau said the question of the legality or otherwise of the Interim Government is a matter before the courts.

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