12 Apr 2007

Fiji minister for Fijian Affairs shocked by Great Council's rejection of vice-presidential nominee

10:12 am on 12 April 2007

Fiji's interim administration may put foward a new nomination for Vice President following the Great Council of Chief's rejection of President Iloilo's initial nomination.

It turned down the nomination of Ratu Epeli Nailatikau based on advice from a New Zealand lawyer who said the interim administration was illegal and whatever was done within that context was illegal.

The interim Minister for Fijian affairs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, says he was shocked and disappointed by the rejection and said they may look for an alternative candidate who would be more acceptable to the Great Council of Chiefs.

However, he said that neither he nor Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama will be attending today's meeting of the Great Council of chiefs.

Ratu Epeli says it is clear that members of the Great Council do not recognize the interim government and it would therefore be pointless to brief the council on the progress and plans of the interim administration.

"Most of the members of the Council of Chiefs have not accepted the reality of the current situation but they still defer to the previous government and the fact that there is still some recognition of the government within some members of the GCC and they base their decision from that in that the nominee of the President was an illegal one."