FIJI GREAT COUNCIL OF CHIEFS TO MEET NEXT WEEK

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SUVA, Fiji Islands, (March 1, 2001 – Fijilive)---The Great Council of Chiefs is expected to meet next Thursday.

This follows the Fiji Court of Appeal ruling declaring the interim government illegal and dismissing an appeal by it that the 1997 Constitution has been abrogated.

A meeting between Fijian Affairs Minister Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and Great Council of Chiefs chairman Major General Sitiveni Rabuka will decide on the agenda. Rabuka is currently in Australia.

The meeting is expected to look at the court’s ruling, and will possibly look at appointing acting President Ratu Josefa Iloilo as President officially.

The court has ruled that the office of the President became vacant with the resignation of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara on December 15, 2000.

Section 88 of the 1997 Constitution allows for the Vice-President (Ratu Josefa Iloilo) to act in the position until March 15, 2001 unless a new President if appointed under Section 90 of the Constitution.

It is believed the meeting could be held at the Fiji Military Forces headquarters.

Meanwhile it is believed there is to be a meeting of all indigenous Fijian political parties on March 7, a day before the GCC meeting.

For additional reports from Fijlive, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/Fijilive.

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