6 Aug 2007

Interim Fijian Affairs Minister says GCC reinstated, but members still suspended

10:28 am on 6 August 2007

Fiji's interim minister for Fijian affairs says although the Great Council of Chiefs was reinstated through regulations gazetted last week, its former members remain suspended.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau's clarification comes after the former chairman of the Great Council, Ratu Ovini Bokini, made a number of statements on its behalf and said the council would be meeting this month.

Following the reinstatement of the Great Council, Ratu Ovini and several other chiefs had withdrawn their high Court challenge against their suspension.

But Ratu Epeli insists that it is illegal for Ratu Ovini to be making statements on behalf of the Great Council because he is not its chairman.

The interim minister stresses that the membership of the Great Council and its machinery are still under review.

But Ratu Ovini claims they are still members of the Great Council.

The only life member of the Great Council, Sitiveni Rabuka, says as far as he is concerned he remains suspended until he receives a letter from the minister saying otherwise