Fiji chiefs reject coup leader - Aljazeera
Fiji's powerful tribal chiefs, who hold constitutional power to appoint the president and have large influence among Fijians, have refused to recognise the leaders of last week's coup as the rulers of the country.
The refusal creates a stumbling block to the plans of Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the military chief who led the take-over.
Ratu Ovini Bokini, chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs, said the council still considers one of its own members to be the South Pacific nation's president.
He said that the council would meet next week with Laisenia Qarase, the ousted prime minister, to discuss the country's future.
Following the December 5 coup Bainimarama announced he had assumed some presidential powers and dismissed the government.
Bokini said the chiefs would invite Qarase to attended a meeting on the future government, slated for next Wednesday or Thursday, but had not yet decided whether to invite Bainimarama.
On Friday, however, Qarase hinted that he was not optimistic he would return to power.
"There is still room for the military to pull back and let the elected government continue," he said. "But that seems to becoming more and more difficult now as time goes by."