Dr Alumita Durutolu, a lecturer at the USP talks about dialogue as the way to go in Fiji. This is part of an article by Verenaisi Raicola in the Fiji Times Friday April 13th. Some good insights and advice here. Vinaka Dr Durutolu!
He (Dr Brij Lal) and USP academic Dr Alumita Durutalo believe there is a need for space and time for dialogue as well as reflection.
"Perhaps, it is now time for dialogue and consensus. All parties should come together and discuss common ground for nominating somebody as Vice President," said Dr Durutalo. She said the GCC, as the foremost institution of Fijian society, should initiate and facilitate talks with discontented or aggrieved members of Fijian society to understand the thinking and actions of their people in the trying times we face.
Dr Durutalo said nominating a chief to assume the role of President or Vice President in Fiji was clear under sections 9092 in Fiji's 1997 Constitution.
However, the process of nominating chiefs to these positions is quite complex as it involves consensus and a flair for the "chiefly way of politicking".
"I understand chiefs of the vanua and matanitu in the Bose Levu Vakaturaga have worked out a way to rotate the positions among the three confederacies.
"Additionally members of the chiefly council usually appoint chiefs who command the respect of the majority of its members as representatives of indigenous Fijians in the vanua throughout Fiji."
Dr Durutalo said constitutionally and, at this point in Fiji's political history, one could say that the next Vice President would depend on the endorsement of the chiefly council.
Dr Durutalo said members of the GCC could only be removed if they were no longer nominated by their respective provincial councils to be representatives to the GCC. "I understand some chiefly members are in the council because of their high rank and status as title holders of various matanitu, for example.
"So to forcibly remove these chiefly members, in Fijian protocol, one is not removing one chief but the hundreds or thousands of Fijians whom they represent," she said.
Dr Durutalo said at the level of the vanua, removing some members could only exacerbate old rivalries and further aggravate ongoing problems.
"Additionally, one in the long-term may jeopardise chances of national resource development, especially if members of the aggrieved party are important resource owners," she said.