8 Mar 2006

Fiji opinion poll names vice president as first choice for head of state

9:46 am on 8 March 2006

An opinion poll in Fiji has found that the vice president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, is the most popular choice to be the next president of the country.

The latest Tebbutt / Fiji Times poll of 1003 adults shows that 51.5% of them favour Ratu Joni to be the head of state.

The poll shows that Ratu Joni is the number one choice across all race and age groups as well as among men and women.

Ratu Joni has confirmed that he is available for re-appointment for another term as vice president.

The 85-year old President Iloilo, the oldest serving head of state in the world, is the second most popular choice for the presidency, being favoured by 12.7% of those surveyed.

The coup convict and extra-mural prisoner, Ratu Jope Seniloli, is the choice of 4.7% of those polled, Mahendra Chaudhry has attracted 4.1 support, Laisenia Qarase 3.0% and Sitiveni Rabuka 2.7%.

Meanwhile, the Bau high chief and current high commissioner in Malaysia, Adi Samanunu Talakuli, Cakobau, who has the backing of some chiefs for the presidency, has indicated that she will accept whatever decision the Great Council of Chiefs makes.

The Great Council of Chiefs is meeting about now to make the appointments.