29 Nov 2005

Fiji president plans to retire in May

9:13 am on 29 November 2005

Fiji's president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, plans to retire at the end of his current term.

The Fiji Times reports that President Iloilo has indicated to close family members that it is time for him to leave office to return to his traditional position as paramount chief of Vuda or Tui Vuda.

A family member who did not wish to be named is quoted as saying President Iloilo hinted of his plans at the recent Fiji Business Excellence Awards when he said that it would be the last he would be attending.

He says the president is stepping down not because of his health but to have more time for his family and his traditional chiefly obligations.

President Iloilo's five-year term ends in May next year.

Fiji's president and vice president are both appointed by the Great Council of Chiefs.

The current vice president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, took office in January this year when the former vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, was forced to resign after he was jailed for taking an illegal oath to usurp the presidency during the coup.