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Fiji Time: 3:01 PM on Friday 18 April

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Not again

Mere Naleba
Saturday, December 21, 2013

PRIME Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says anyone with plans to reinstall the Great Council of Chiefs should forget about it.

He told this to soldiers during his address at the RFMF's Christmas church service at the Reverend Tuvasu Hall at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua, Suva, yesterday.

Speaking in the iTaukei language, Commodore Bainimarama, who is also army commander, told members of two disciplined forces — Fiji Navy and Republic of Fiji Military Forces — that some former politicians are going around to communities telling people that the GCC would be reinstalled. He said this would never happen.

Commodore Bainimarama said chiefs, religious leaders and some politicians had strongly supported the 2000 coup.

He said they did not want that to happen again.

He said they had to get rid of racial discrimination, which was one reason why they had to support this Constitution.

The PM said the GCC would never be brought into existence again because many chiefs had used that body to push forward their own personal agendas and it was a platform used by many to promote racial discrimination.

He said the chiefs had their roles to play in their own vanua.

Commodore Bainimarama added those chiefs have people to lead in their vanua, villages, districts and that is their primary role as chiefs.

He claimed when the chiefs were in the GCC, they were easily manipulated by politicians for their own political and personal agendas.

Commodore Bainimarama said most chiefs mixed the roles of a chief and a politician and therefore confused themselves with the different agendas.

He added it was better that chiefs remain in the vanua and lead their people at that level.

Commodore Bainimarama reiterated that the GCC would not be reinstated as stipulated in the Constitution.

He told soldiers that people should not be fooled by what politicians say on this issue.