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Ratu Epeli is new GCC chairman

 

Oct 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM

Fiji's interim Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Epeli Nailatikau is now the new Indigenous Affairs Minister and effectively Great Council of Chiefs chairman.

He took over his role yesterday after being reassigned by interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Ratu Epeli, a former army commander, also takes over the Regional Development portfolio.

He started in his new role yesterday. As Indigenous Affairs Minister he will also be responsible for heading the reconstituted council for hereditary chiefs.

Ratu Epeli declined to comment on his new Cabinet role when contacted but said he would be ready for media inquiries in a few days, when he settles into the job.

Bainimarama is acting Minister for Ratu Epeli's former portfolios, Foreign Affairs and Civil Aviation.

Ratu Epeli headed the army in the early 1980s before being deposed in the 1987 military coup by Sitiveni Rabuka.

He later became Fiji's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Europe. Before becoming army commander he was in the foreign service in Fiji's civil service.

Ratu Epeli is married to Adi Koila, a daughter of former Prime Minister and President, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

 

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