15 Jul 2011

Dumping of elected Lau council head labelled Fiji mini-coup

1:22 pm on 15 July 2011

An Auckland University academic says the dumping of Adi Ateca Ganilau as head of the Lau Provincial Council is like a mini-coup.

Adi Ateca, who was elected on Tuesday, spoke out against the interim regime at the council meeting and has been replaced by the interim education minister, Filipe Bole.

She is also the sister of Ratu Tevita Mara who recently fled Fiji for Tonga on sedition charges, and is married to the former interim minister of defence, Ratu Epeli Ganilau.

Political scientist Dr Stephen Ratuva says the interim government has been trying to maintain its control over the political mechanism from village level up.

"Mrs Ganilau actually belongs to, if you like, the main political opposition group, and therefore, they had to do everything possible, within the means, to get rid of her. In as far as the government is concerned, it has moved to be able to maintain the dominance. As far as the people of Lau are concerned, I don't think it's a fair thing for them, because the democratic process of election had taken place."

Dr Steven Ratuva.