Politics

PM: GCC is an undemocratic entity

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) was an “undemocratic entity in Fiji” that “brings about racial discrimination”. PM Bainimarama was making a ministerial statement in Parliament this morning on the reasons his government opposed the reinstating of the GCC. BAINIMARAMA: “We should differentiate the GCC which has been made political […]

Calvin Prasad

April 28, 2016 1:21 pm

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) was an “undemocratic entity in Fiji” that “brings about racial discrimination”.

ask-bainimarama-in-parliament
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (left) and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Parliament. (FILE).

PM Bainimarama was making a ministerial statement in Parliament this morning on the reasons his government opposed the reinstating of the GCC.

BAINIMARAMA: “We should differentiate the GCC which has been made political in the past and the Chiefs who are very much a part of our lives and will remain with us in future.”

The Prime Minister said the GCC was set up by the British to control the native population through their Chiefs.

BAINIMARAMA: “The British used the GCC to serve their own purpose.  They had hereditary Chiefs of their own, their dukes, earls and barons, so they were very comfortable dealing with the hereditary chiefs of their own.”

PM Bainimarama said “commoners” were denied the right to vote because it was considered the Chiefs “knew what was best”.

There were numerous interjections during the PM’s address. The Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni called the House to order and awarded the PM more time to complete his speech.

Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa in response said it was discriminatory to call the GCC “racist and elitist” and it was a “human rights violation” to suppress a community indigenous to Fiji.

KEPA: “Madam Speaker, the GCC or Bose Levu Vakaturaga is like the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, the Rotuma Council, the Fiji Muslim League, and other such bodies where servants to the people meet to discuss issues affecting their people.”

Ro Kepa concluded that she would organise the re-establishment of the GCC, even if the government didn’t support it.

KEPA: “If government does not want to fund the re-establishment of the GCC, then we the indigenous people will fund it. We will run it. Regardless of what the Prime Minister says, it is our human right.”

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