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SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 30, 2001 - FijiLive)---Caretaker Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase failed in his bid yesterday to get the Great Council of Chiefs to endorse him as the official Fijian political leader in the August general election.

The Fiji Sun reports that the move was pushed by Lauan members of the GCC. It says that although no name was mentioned, everyone knew the motion was aimed at promoting Qarase.

The bid was not pursued when the Lauans decided there wasn’t much support.

Qarase would not deny the move, but said the matter was not discussed at the meeting. The failure to get endorsed means Qarase might have to work hard and form his own party or join some other party.

He neither denied nor confirmed rumors that he would join the party formed by Speight sympathizers, but said he wanted to be a member of any initiative that united the Fijian political parties.

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

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