3 May 2007

Minister for Fijian Affairs taken to court over GCC

6:09 am on 3 May 2007

The suspended chairman of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs and his deputy have filed legal action against the interim minister of Fijian affairs to challenge their suspension.

Fiji TV reports that Ratu Ovini Bokini and Ratu Sakiusa Makutu are disputing the suspension of all members of the Great Council by the minister, Ratu Epeli Ganilau.

They are challenging the legality of Ratu Epeli's decision on the grounds that he is not an elected minister.

A lawyer for the two chiefs, Kitione Vuetaki, says an interim minister can only act on the grounds of necessity but there was no necessity in this case.

The two plaintiffs are seeking a High Court injunction to stop the interim minister from appointing new members of the Great Council of Chiefs

As well, the two chiefs want the High Court to overturn the actions taken by the interim minister.