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Brigadier-General
Brigadier-General
Ratu
Ratu
Epeli Nailatikau, CF, LVO, OBE, MSD, KStJ, (born 5 July 1941) (often referred to as Na Turaga Mai Naisogolaca) is a Fijian chief who was President of Fiji
President of Fiji
from 2009 to 2015. He has had a long career in the Military, diplomatic service, and government. From 2001 to 2006 he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives – the lower and more powerful chamber of the Fijian Parliament. He was also the Chairman of the Parliamentary Appropriations Committee and of the House Committee. On 8 January 2007, he was appointed the interim Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade; he was moved to the post of interim Minister for Provincial Development and Multi-Ethnic Affairs in September 2008. In October 2008, he became Indigenous Affairs Minister "and effectively Great Council of Chiefs chairman".[1] On 17 April 2009, he was appointed Vice-President by the Military government.[2][3] On 30 July 2009, he became Acting President after the retirement of President Josefa Iloilo.[4] On 5 November 2009, he was sworn in as President of Fiji.[5] George Konrote
George Konrote
was elected to succeed him in October 2015.

Contents

1 Education and military career 2 Diplomatic career 3 Political career

3.1 Acting Prime Minister 3.2 Acting President

4 Anti- AIDS
AIDS
campaigner 5 Personal life 6 References

Education and military career[edit] Born to a family of politically powerful chieftains, Nailatikau's career spanned 20 years in the military and 17 years in the diplomatic service. Following his education at Bau District School, Draiba Fijian School, Levuka Public School and Queen Victoria School, Nailatikau trained as a soldier in New Zealand. In 1966, he served on secondment in the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand
New Zealand
Infantry Regiment and was posted to Sarawak, Malaysia, during Indonesia's "Konfrontasi" against Malaysia. He proved to be a popular and highly respected officer. When he returned to the Fiji
Fiji
Infantry Regiment, he rose steadily through the ranks. By 1987, he held the rank of Brigadier-General, and was the Commander of the Royal Fiji
Fiji
Military Forces. While visiting Australia, he was deposed from this position, however, when the third-ranked officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka
Sitiveni Rabuka
staged the first of two coups and seized power. Diplomatic career[edit] Nailatikau retired from the Army and decided to pursue a new career in the diplomatic service. After completing the Foreign Service Course at Oxford University
Oxford University
in the United Kingdom, he was appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and accredited as Fiji's Ambassador to Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Israel
Israel
and the Holy See. He was later appointed as Fiji's Roving Ambassador
Ambassador
and High Commissioner
High Commissioner
to the member states of the South Pacific Forum, before taking up a post as Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Trade in 1999. Political career[edit] In the aftermath of the failure of the Fiji
Fiji
coup of 2000, a coup which Nailatikau strongly opposed, he was nominated for the position of Prime Minister, to help rebuild Fiji's shattered institutions. He withdrew his nomination, however, in favour of Laisenia Qarase, who was considered more of a consensus candidate, but became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Fijian Affairs in the interim Cabinet. In 2001, after democracy had been restored in a general election, he defeated, by a vote of 41 to 29, Joeli Kalou for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives, a position he held until after the 2006 elections. Following the coup d'état of 5 December 2006, he was sworn in as Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade in the new interim government of Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama
Frank Bainimarama
on 8 January 2007.[6] He was nominated to become the new vice-president by the Fiji president Ratu
Ratu
Josefa Iloilo on 10 April 2007,[7] but was rejected by the GCC.[8] On 17 April 2009, after Fiji
Fiji
experienced a constitutional crisis, Ratu
Ratu
Epeli was appointed Vice President.[9] Nailatikau served as interim Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Co-operation and Civil Aviation under Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, beginning in January 2007. On 23 September 2008, Bainimarama said that Nailatikau would be moved to the post of Minister for Provincial Development and Multi-Ethnic Affairs on 5 October 2008, while Bainimarama would take over his previous duties. According to Bainimarama, he "decided to give him this new responsibility given his extensive knowledge and hands-on experience on the workings of the Civil Service, Governments role in rural development and the sources of assistances available to facilitate such development", while also stating that Nailatikau had "excellent public relations appeal, which is very much needed in outreaching and inter-facing with rural people."[10] Acting Prime Minister[edit] On 25 September 2007, Ratu
Ratu
Epeli was appointed as acting Prime Minister while interim Prime Minister, Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama, was away in New York for the week.[11] Acting President[edit] On 30 July 2009, he became Acting President after the retirement of 88-year-old President Iloilo.[4] The President was supposed to be appointed by the Great Council of Chiefs
Great Council of Chiefs
(effectively abolished by the military-backed regime) under the 1997 constitution that Iloilo had abrogated, but Bainimarama announced that a new President would be appointed by his Cabinet at the regime's convenience. Nailatikau was formally appointed to the office on 5 November 2009. Anti- AIDS
AIDS
campaigner[edit] On 14 June 2005, Nailatikau was appointed the UNAIDS
UNAIDS
Special Representative for the Pacific. According to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, he was chosen because his political position, his respect throughout the Pacific region, and his outspokenness on AIDS-related issues. He had previously served as a UNAIDS
UNAIDS
Pacific spokesman, and in October2004 chaired the first conference of Pacific Parliamentarians on the Role of Pacific Parliamentarians in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in Suva. Nailatikau's outspoken calls to tackle the AIDS
AIDS
crisis have attracted controversy. On 22 November 2005, he called on people to recognize the reality that promiscuity existed, and that safe sex needed to be promoted to combat the associated AIDS
AIDS
risk. It was unrealistic to deny promiscuity and just promote abstinence, he considered, adding that this was a matter of life and death. He also called on churches to face the reality that promiscuity existed among their own congregations, and to meet the problem "head on" and play a part in promoting the use of condoms. He represented the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
(CPA)[12] at the World AIDS
AIDS
Conference in Toronto in August 2006. Personal life[edit] As a chief by birth through his paternal side via his maternal grandmother who is the granddaughter of Ratu
Ratu
Seru Cakobau, Epeli Nailatikau has the title of Ratu. He is the second son of Ratu
Ratu
Edward Cakobau, who commanded the Fijian Battalion in World War II. He is also a great-great-grandson of Seru Epenisa Cakobau
Seru Epenisa Cakobau
from his granddaughter Adi Litia Cakobau, the first monarch to rule over a unified Fijian kingdom after conquering all the tribes of Fiji
Fiji
and uniting them under his leadership, and who ceded the Fiji
Fiji
Islands to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
in 1874. In addition, he is a grandson of King George Tupou II
George Tupou II
of Tonga. His father is the product of issue between HM King George Tupou II
George Tupou II
and Adi Litia Cakobau who was sent to Tonga
Tonga
as a trial bride to the King but was later rejected as they could not wed under the normal Tongan constitution. In 1981, he married Adi Koila Mara, the second daughter of modern Fiji's former Prime Minister and President Ratu
Ratu
Sir Kamisese Mara. Adi Koila has also been a politician in her own right; like her husband, she served as a Member of Parliament, Cabinet minister, and Senator. They have two children: a son, Kamisese Vuna (named after Adi Koila's father), and a daughter, Litia Cakobau. References[edit]

^ " Ratu
Ratu
Epeli is new GCC chairman", FijiLive, 14 October 2008 ^ Nailatikau is Fiji's Vice-President Gateway to Fiji, Fiji
Fiji
News, Fiji eDirectory, Fiji
Fiji
Magic, Fiji
Fiji
Real Estate, Fiji
Fiji
Classifieds, Fiji Dating, Fiji
Fiji
Rugby, Fiji
Fiji
Football, Fiji
Fiji
Jobs, Fijian News, Fijian Music, Fiji
Fiji
Houses for Sale, Fiji
Fiji
Holidays, Fiji
Fiji
Sports, Fiji
Fiji
Picture Gallery, Fiji
Fiji
Business, etc. Fijilive (2009-04-17). Retrieved on 2012-05-04. ^ President's deputy sworn in – Fiji
Fiji
Times Online. Fijitimes.com (2009-04-17). Retrieved on 2012-05-04. ^ a b President of military-led Fiji
Fiji
plans to step down, AP, 28 July 2009 ^ Nailatikau sworn in as Fiji's new President. News.xinhuanet.com (2009-11-05). Retrieved on 2012-05-04. ^ " Fiji
Fiji
swears in new interim government", Radio Australia, 8 January 2007. ^ People's Daily Online – New Fiji
Fiji
vice-president named. English.people.com.cn (2007-04-11). Retrieved on 2012-05-04. ^ " Fiji
Fiji
vice president nomination rejected". Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 2007-04-11. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) . People's Daily Online. 11 April 2007 ^ " Ratu
Ratu
Epeli new Vice President". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2016. . Radio Fiji. 17 April 2009 ^ " Ratu
Ratu
Epeli heads new ministry", The Fiji
Fiji
Times Online, 24 September 2008. ^ "Nailatikau is acting PM". Fijilive. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-25.  ^ Cpahq

Military offices

Preceded by Ian Thorpe Commander of the Military Forces 1982–1987 Succeeded by Sitiveni Rabuka

Political offices

Preceded by Apenisa Kurisaqila Speaker of the House of Representatives 2001–2006 Succeeded by Pita Nacuva

Preceded by Kaliopate Tavola Minister for Foreign Affairs 2007–2008 Succeeded by Frank Bainimarama

Preceded by Joni Madraiwiwi Vice President of Fiji 2009 Position abolished

Preceded by Josefa Iloilo President of Fiji 2009–2015 Succeeded by George Konrote

v t e

Presidents of Fiji

Penaia Ganilau Kamisese Mara Josefa Iloilo Epeli Nailatikau Ge