1 Jun 2006

Fiji chiefs reappoint only two senators

2:08 pm on 1 June 2006

Only two of 14 senators sent by Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs to the dissolved senate will return to the new Upper House.

They are Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau representing the Lau province and Ratu Kinijioji Maivalili from Cakaudrove.

The other twelve provinces have nominated new people to be their senate representatives.

The Great Council of Chiefs held a meeting in Suva today to endorse the 14 senators and will forward their names to President Iloilo for appointment to the Upper House.

The 14 senators nominated by he Great Council of Chiefs play a critical role in parliament because they have veto powers over legislation affecting the interests of indigenous Fijians such as land laws and changes to the constitution.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has yet to name the nine senators he will nominate while the eight who will come from the opposition will only be known after a new opposition leader is appointed.