GCC and 2018 elections
Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Canada
We do not have to be a brain surgeon to figure out why the SODELPA parliamentarians made a petition to reinstate the Great Council of Chiefs the other day.
They know very well that the current FijiFirst Government won a landslide victory in the 2014 General Elections, which implies that Fijians had accepted the abolition of the Great Council of Chiefs among others promoted by SODELPA.They also know that as the Opposition, they do not have the numbers and nearly everything they present in Parliament was outvoted.
So two years before the 2018 General Election, why bring up this issue of reinstating the GCC now? From the arguments of the SODELPA parliamentarians, one could feel that this is where they begin their 2018 election campaign. They want to paint a picture that our iTaukei chiefs, whom we hold dear in our respective
vanua, are being deprived of their high status and relegated to being a commoner, and that the current Government is to be blamed.
I believe this issue and other divisive ones appealing to the iTaukei will be continually repeated in Parliament and its rejection will be used to preach in the next election campaign that the FijiFirst Government is antiiTaukei and should not be re-elected. In the last 10 years where we have been functioning without the GCC as a body, has a poll been conducted among our chiefs to see if they themselves want a GCC and be part of the decision-making process of Fiji? GCC or no GCC, chiefs will remain chiefs to be loved and respected in the leadership of its people.