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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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