Fiji disbands Great Council of Chiefs

 NZ Herald

Good move by Frank Bainimarama to remove the Great Council of Chiefs:

Fiji’s military commander has disbanded the Great Council of Chiefs, a leadership tradition in the Pacific island nation that dates back more than 130 years.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama said the council was “an institution created during the British colonialism, and one that in modern times has become politicised to the detriment of Fiji’s pursuit of a common and equal citizenry”.

He had greatly reduced the power of the council before eliminating it yesterday. His latest move may be an attempt to prevent the council from being written into the new constitution he has promised to help produce within the next year.

The council was established under British colonial rule in 1875. Its 55 chiefs had refused to endorse Bainimarama’s rule.

Fiji’s tribal lands are vested in the women of the villages, not the men. The GCC was designed to give the men something to do and make them think they were important.

The old constitution gave power outside of the parliament to the select group in the Great Council of Chiefs. Unfortunately rather than ceremonial they became highly political and corrupt.

With a new constitution coming, one where all citizens are equal beofre the law without preference based on race the Great Council of Chiefs really needed to be disbanded.

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  • BJ

    Reading this article yesterday I thought  NZ could learn a thing or two from Frank

  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    All done in spite of Australia and new Zealand intransigent interference.

  • Tony

    The NZ response to Fiji is a good example of the liberal/labour/progressive/green dominated MFAT. They could not comprehend that one-man one-vote equal citizenship was a good thing.  We could do with some of Frank’s policies down here!

  • politically unstable

    Not sure about the comment on lands being vested in the woman…but eliminating the GCC (which Frank disbanded a couple of years back) means that Kava Bowl politics goes out the door. He is getting the right outcomes but of course there are some who protest about the process involved i.e. no consultation. But consultation on some of this stuff is a waste of time.

  • Richardrajone

    It takes a lot of guts and determination for FB to do this. Good on him. Great Council of Chiefs is a remenant of House of Lords from thier colonial past that has little or no relevance in a morden democracy.
    NZ & AU governments never really tried to understand the issues in Fiji, but FB does and to ensure long term stability he is ‘rebooting’ the whole system which of-couse takes a long time.

  • Engineer

    Can Frank Bainimarama come over here a while once he is finished with Fiji.  We have a few apartheid laws that need attention.

  • dutyfree

    lets get rid of our great council of guilt, the Waitangi Ttibunal, our great council of Maori, the Maori seats and finish of with the great council to teat sucking, Tu Puni Kokare

  • AnonWgtn

    Fiji about bloody time too,
    and I agree with dutyfree about abolishing the W Tribunal, but this will cease in 2014 when settlements are finished !
    Then THE GRAVY TRAIN cannot stop  – help – what bullshit.

  • he made a promise just before xmas to bring in a raft of new policies…

    ..and what was interesting… that it was largely occupy-policies writ large…

    ..removing all taxes for the poorest..and ramping them up on the richest… just one example..

    ..i was quite surprised…

    [email protected]

    • politically unstable

       Don’t believe everything that Michael Field writes….there are actually some positive things happening over there. Even the ANZ Bank has written a good news story on the improving economy there