6 Aug 2007

Fiji GCC reinstated but future of membership depends on government policy

3:32 pm on 6 August 2007

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs is unlikely to be able to function normally again until the interim government approves a new regulation ruling the body.

After the GCC was reinstated through regulations gazetted last week, its suspended chairman Ratu Ovini Bokini and other chiefs withdrew their High Court challenge against their suspension in April.

But the interim minister of Fijian Affairs says that the GCC's former members remain suspended.

The executive officer of the Minister's office, Kini Rarubi, says the GCC was reinstated because the government wants it reviewed and something can't be reviewed while it is suspended.

But he says until the review is complete, the GCC must operate on a clean slate, including having no members.

"It really is a policy issue as to what they [cabinet members] envisage the GCC to be - whether it's Chiefs only or how these chiefs are going to be... whether they're going to be appointed or whether they're going to democratise the ystem. This is part of the review."

Kini Rarubi