23 Aug 2002

Review of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs recommends changes to membership

10:16 am on 23 August 2002

A review of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs has recommended that the president, vice president and prime minister, should lose their membership of the body.

This is because the state's responsibilities could conflict with those of the Great Council.

The Fiji Times reports the review says the president, vice president and the prime minister could be put in a very difficult position if the government and the Great Council take different positions on issues.

It says depriving the three office holders of their membership of the Great Council of Chiefs may be inconceivable to indigenous Fijians, but their inclusion is recent in historical terms.

The report has also recommended a reduction in the membership of the council to 35 and changes in the method of selection of members because in the past it was not always based on merit and has been influenced by people with personal agendas.

It says members of the Great Council should have demonstrated leadership qualities such as character, determination, selflessness and the ability to motivate and unite.