Former Fiji military officer and Tailevu chief, Ratu Viliame Seruvakula was elected the Chairperson of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) during their meeting in Pacific Harbour Wednesday.

His term is for three years.

Ratu Seruvakula, nominated by the Kubuna confederacy, received 27 votes while the other nominees for the post; Ratu Meli Saukuru of Burebasaga confederacy received 10 votes and Ratu Jone Golea Lalabalavu of Tovata confederacy received 8 votes and 1 vote was declared invalid.

The voting process was supervised and assisted by officials of the Fijian Elections Office.

Meanwhile, Attorney-General Siromi Turaga is calling for a drastic change in mindset towards the workings of the Great Council of Chiefs.

Speaking to FijiLive after the conclusion of the first day’s meeting of the GCC, Turaga said: “The idea is there, but we just need to change people’s mindset.”

“What we are going to do now is take this discussions out to people in order for them to work with us and look at the GCC from a new perspective.”

Turaga said there are a lot of issues that need to be discussed with regards to our traditions, values and lifestyle, and the GCC is going to evolve over time and is going to grow.

“This is the whole focus of the GCC.”

“We need an inclusive and diverse society that shares the interest of all Fijians and this has been the primary focus of the Coalition Government.”

Turaga said it is unfortunate that the GCC is being portrayed by some negatively and this should be a challenge to the members as it does not help that parts of our identity, culture language, title ownership and boundaries are being lost.

“It now rests on our traditional leaders on how we must look for a solution.”

When questioned how the GCC will be safeguarded if there was a change in Government and the new leadership did not support the vision of the Peoples Coalition, Turaga said this is something they will be discussing today and he cannot elaborate on the issue any further.