21 Jul 2004

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs appoints new chairman

9:33 pm on 21 July 2004

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs has appointed a new chairman to succeed Ratu Epeli Ganilau who was ousted by prime minister Laisenia Qarase.

He is the former deputy chairman and the chief of Tavua, Ratu Ovini Bokini.

The council did not accept a proposal from Rewa high chief Ratu Isoa Tabutabu that it should not appoint a new chairman until all legal issues surrounding the ousting of Ratu Epeli Ganilau have been resolved in court.

Instead, the chiefs appointed Ratu Ovini to a one-year term only because they did not want matters of the Great Council to be dragged through the courts.

The two previous chairman of the Council, Ratu Epeli Ganilau and Sitiveni Rabuka, both came from the Tovata confederacy which agreed not to put forward a name this time.

So Ratu Ovini from the Kubuna confederacy got the job