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Great Council Of Chiefs Has New Chairman

PEOPLE'S COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI

GCC has new Chairman
Issue No: 565 8 March 2001

The Great Council of Chiefs has today elected a new Chairman.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau was elected without any opposition this morning when the GCC met.

Ratu Epeli is a former military commander who resigned from the military to contest the 1999 General Election for the Christian Democratic Party (VLV). He lost the election. He is the son of Cakaudrove High Chief and former President Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, and is the son-in-law of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. Ratu Epeli was invited to the GCC meeting as a nominee of the Qarase regime Minister for Fijian Affairs.

Ratu Epeli replaces Sitiveni Rabuka. Meanwhile Adi Litia Cakobau was reappointed as the Deputy Chair of the GCC.

The GCC meeting continues this afternoon. It is expected to hear from the Acting President as well as from Laisenia Qarase and his Attorney General this afternoon. It is also understood that two groups of indigenous Fijian lawyers are trying to make a presentation to the GCC. One group, including NLTB's General Manager Maika Qarikau and terrorist George Speight's lawyers, are asking the GCC to ignore the Fiji Court of Appeal decision and to free Speight and other terrorists.

END 8 March 2001

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