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Opposition Calls For GCC Reinstatement

Opposition Calls For GCC Reinstatement
Leader of Opposition, Ro Teimumu Kepa outside Parliament yesterday.
April 29
13:45 2016

The Opposition in Parliament has come out strongly for the reinstatement of the Great Council of Chiefs even if Government was not willing to support it.

“If Government does not want to fund the re-establishment of the GCC, than we the indigenous people will fund it; we will run it regardless of what the Prime Minister says; it is our human right,” Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa said in Parliament yesterday.

Ro Teimumu said the GCC was the indigenous form of government that was a platform for raising issues faced at village and provincial level.

“When GCC is re-established it may take on features that reflect the Fiji we are in today,” she said.

“The Great Council of Chiefs is a traditional institution that has since been widely accepted as a part of our indigenous lifestyle and it was very much part of our indigenous form of governance.”

Ro Teimumu compared the GCC to institutions like the Rotuma Council, Fiji Muslim League and other bodies where servants to the people discussed issues affecting their people.

“It is discriminatory to call these bodies racist and elitist; it is a human rights violation to suppress one community; the very community that are the indigenous of this island,” Ro Teimumu said.

“The GCC is not a product of our colonial past; it is a product of inter-provincial peace time unity there long before the British; a body of servants whose main ambition is to grow their communities and use the institution as a platform to raise their issues that are being faced at the village or provincial level.

“The Prime Minister calling the GCC undemocratic is untrue; it is part of the democratic framework of Fiji.”

Ro Teimumu said there were no consultations from Government when they made the decision to abolish the GCC in 2012.

National Federation Party Opposition MP, Roko Tupou Draunidalo said ordinary Fijians needed to be consulted whether the GCC was to be reinstated or not.

She said the chiefs had allowed the development of this country through their land.Edited by Rusiate Mataika



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