Fiji's coup leader and interim prime minister has appointed himself head of the country's top tribal council.
Cmdr Bainimarama will approve the members of the council
Cmdr Frank Bainimarama will chair the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC), a body he suspended after it failed to back his December 2006 coup.
He will appoint representatives from each province to a 52-member council, an official notice said.
The council, Fiji's top indigenous body, appoints the president and has in the past been extremely influential.
Cmdr Bainimarama suspended the GCC in April 2007 for failing to back him, four months after he seized power from elected Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.
He appointed a task force to review its role and the group reported back this week.
Task force member Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo said Cmdr Bainimarama's move came as a surprise.
"We had deliberately left the president, vice-president, prime minister and the Fijian affairs minister from the GCC set-up to avoid any political influence," he told the FijiLive website.
Cmdr Bainimarama is currently on an official visit to India.
The former military leader has pledged to hold polls to return Fiji to democracy in 2009.
International sanctions enacted after the coup remain in place and Fiji remains suspended from the Commonwealth.