THE son of former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry has called for the reinstatement of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) and that it be given constitutional recognition to act in an apolitical manner in matters concerning national issues.
Rajendra Chaudhry in his submission to the Constitution Commission at the weekend at the GCC complex in Nasese said it was the GCC that was the voice of reason and moderation for coup makers in the past.
"Without the GCC, the political impasses of 1987 and 2000 would not have had the outcome that it had," he said.
"Of course, there are some within the chiefly system that have radical and extremist views, but these are a minority and their views have often been ameliorated by the majority who see Fiji's future as a multi-cultural and multi-racial country."
"The chiefs have an important role in the making of traditional leaders and acting as trustees of the Fijian people.
"Instead of focusing on only the political role of the GCC, we should also focus on the cultural, social and leadership roles of the GCC.
"As the trustees of the rights of the Fijian people, chiefs should also have a voice, albeit a limited one, to raise issues as it relates to their people. The chiefs and Christianity have historically been entwined since Fiji embraced Christianity.
He said that getting rid of the confederacies would be an invitation to internal strife which some would see as a justification of the continued participation of the military in civilian government.