6 Jun 2003

Fiji Council of Chiefs Chair under attack from his Deputy

3:45 pm on 6 June 2003

The deputy chair of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs, Adi Litia Cakobau, has publicly attacked its chairman, Ratu Epeli Ganilau.

At issue is Ratu Epeli's revelation that he asked the vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, to stand down because of the serious charges against him for becoming the usurper president after the coup.

Adi Litia has told the Fiji Times that Ratu Epeli was wrong to ask the vice president to stand down.

She says no one has the right to ask the vice president to stand down until he is found guilty by the court.

Adi Litia says she is disappointed with the way Ratu Jope's case has been handled because of his status as vice president, adding that things should not have been done the way they have been.

Adi Litia attempted to move a motion at last week's Great Council of Chiefs meeting asking them to forgive and pardon all chiefs and people facing coup related charges.

When this was rejected by Ratu Epeli, she said she would take the issue back for discussion by the people of Tailevu, home province of Ratu Jope and George Speight.