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By Samantha Rina

SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Dec. 6) – A Fiji hotelier has called for the abolition of the country’s vice presidential position.

The managing director of Fiji Resorts, Radike Qereqeretabua, said yesterday that it would be beneficial if the position of the vice president were scrapped. Mr Qereqeretabua said this abolition would obviate the potentially dangerous confederacy, and provincial rivalries that could further fragment the Fijian race and the chiefly structure.

"In my humble opinion, abolishing the position of the vice president will also obviate the real and ominous threat of instability that could arise out of the military if they disagree with the appointment. It would also save much needed funds that the Government would spend elsewhere," Mr Qereqeretabua said.

He said risks were being taken to protect a non-executive post, which was a useless aberration.

"The abolition of the VP will be one such monumental decision that the council of chiefs can and should make to save our nation from the further serious division that the current VP successors debate is generating," said Mr Qereqeretabua.

The people who would be affected were wage earners including those in hotels, villagers and people who were already living below the poverty line. Fiji, he said, was blessed with a most capable Speaker of the House who could act for the President whenever a situation required. He said he had forwarded a letter of his proposal to the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and the chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs Ratu Ovini Bokini. Ratu Ovini said it would be too early if he commented on the suggestion because he had not received the letter. He said he would read through the letter and think about it before commenting. The Attorney General Qoroniasi Bale said the suggestion was one that would require a Constitutional amendment. "This proposal would require Constitutional amendment because the position is set up by the Constitution. It would mean going through a process. I would take it as a personal opinion that people are entitled to," said Mr Bale.

He said he regarded the call as a view from someone who appeared to have a lot of interest and concern about the developments that surrounded the office. The reasons stated by Mr Qereqeretabua, said Mr Bale, were not legal issues that he should comment on.

"They are basic, fundamental issues that the proper authorities could comment on if they wish to do so. But where does that take us?" he asked

December 6, 2004




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