Fiji GCC Considers Governance Change and Welfare of Non-iTaukei

Fiji’s traditional leaders, led by the newly appointed Great Council of Chiefs Chair, Ratu Viliame Seruvakula, are contemplating a governance shift, acknowledging the need for inclusivity beyond being solely the “voice of the iTaukei.”

Seruvakula, assuming the chairmanship in the council’s first meeting in 15 years, highlighted the responsibility of traditional leaders towards the welfare of all races in Fiji, echoing sentiments shared by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka whilst opening the meeting.

During the two-day GCC meeting that started in Pacific Harbour yesterday, Seruvakula also discussed a proposal to realign the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, enabling independent operation for the GCC, free from political influence.

“We cannot go forward having the GCC linked with the Ministry…, you have to separate it from being political and the only way to do it is to move the two apart,” he said.

“The GCC is more just for the iTaukei. It is the voice of the iTaukei to the government. We discussed today that the GCC has the responsibility to take into account the interest of all citizens of Fiji including those who are not iTaukei but have called Fiji home.”

In the election process at the Lagoon Resort the former Fiji military officer and Kubuna Confederacy nominee, secured the chairmanship with 27 votes, surpassing Burebasaga nominee Ratu Meli Saukuru (10) and Tovata nominee Ratu Jone Golea Lalabalavu (8).

The GCC proceedings, which started yesterday, also involved a review of the minutes from their previous meeting. The GCC meeting of 2024, featuring 52 chiefs, including chiefs from Rotuma, concludes today.

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