20 Apr 2007

Fiji academic says interim administration forced to rule by decree

9:30 am on 20 April 2007

A senior Fiji academic says the interim administration has no other option but to make declarations and issue decrees to move the country forward.

USP political scientist Dr Steven Ratuva says this is because the Great Council of Chiefs is not cooperating with the interim government in appointing a vice president.

Radio Legend quotes Dr Ratuva as saying it is not just a matter of legality because indigenous Fijian politics is playing a big part in what has happened since 1987.

He says at that time the Great Council of Chiefs supported Sitiveni Rabuka's coups and even made him a hero and a life member.

Dr Ratuva says in 2000 the chiefs were split over the coup.

But last year the battle lines were drawn between those who were for the coup and those who were against it.

He says this time around the Great Council of Chiefs has been marginalized and they are now trying to reassert their authority using the legal argument that the interim administration is illegal.

But Dr Ratuva says beyond the legal argument, there are a whole lot of indigenous Fijian politics at play here.