‘Never’: PM on GCC

THE subject of the reinstatement of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) or Bose Levu Vakaturaga reared its head once again at a talanoa session between the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the villagers of Naimasimasi, in Vugalei, Tailevu last week.

A villager asked the Prime Minister whether the institution would ever be reinstated to which Mr Bainimarama said it would not as long as his government was in power.

“The Government’s first priority is to educate our children, and carry out developments in the country.

“Previously every development which the Government wanted carried out had to go through the GCC which hampered things.

“My government was able to carry out many changes and developments without the presence of the GCC,” Mr Bainimarama said in the iTaukei language.

“As long as my government is in power, the Bose Levu Vakaturaga will never be reinstated because of the politics involved in it,” he said.

He added that traditional leaders would stop road developments because it ran over their land boundaries.

“When a government makes the decision to build a road in some areas — the chiefs would stop it — their self-interests were paramount,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“They said no because it crossed their land. That kind of thinking stopped the developments in this country. What is important is that you have your chiefs and you serve them within your vanua (land or village),” the Prime Minister said.

The GCC was suspended in 2007 after Mr Bainimarama took power in 2006.

The traditional body was later disestablished by decree in March 2012 after it served as an advisory to the colonial government during its 139-year history.

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