11 Apr 2007

Two GCC confederacies reject Fiji president's VP nomination

8:35 pm on 11 April 2007

It's now been revealed that representatives of two of the three traditional Fijian confederacies in the Great Council of Chiefs have rejected President Iloilo's nomination of Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to be the next vice president.

The president nominated Ratu Epeli because of his record of public service as a former Speaker of parliament, diplomat and military commander.

The Great Council of Chiefs had only to endorse the nomination.

But when the chiefs, some of whom were members of the deposed Qarase government and the previous administration, met for discussions only the Tovata confederacy supported Ratu Epeli's nomination.

The Burebasaga and Kubuna Confederacies opposed the nomination even though Ratu Epeli is from Kubuna.

After the GCC was unable to agree on President Iloilo's nomination, it deferred discussion on the issue until Thursday.

The minister for Fijian affairs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau told Fiji TV that it was the president's prerogative to make the nomination and it was expected of the Great Council of Chiefs to endorse it.

The minister said disregarding the president's nomination is going to make it very difficult for some members because he has the powers to remove then from the Great Council of Chiefs.

The chiefs are expected to reconvene when the president makes a fresh nomination for the vice presidency.