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Fiji president has no chiefly links

Tuesday 13 October 2015 | Published in Regional


SUVA – For the first time the president of Fiji will be a non-iTaukei man with no chiefly links now that Jioji Konrote has been elected.

The retired army major general, government minister, and diplomat who is from the island of Rotuma, was elected by parliament on Monday.

Three members of the opposition National Federation Party abstained from voting as they said the process had been politicised.

Radio New Zealand’s correspondent in Fiji, Vosita Kotoiwasawasa, says Konrote’s historic election has been generally well-received in Fiji.

“Some people have seen this as a major turnover from what they have been used to. Many young people are receptive to the idea that Fiji is now finally moving forward from the old ways of thinking that former politicians had instilled in the minds of the people.”

Konrote was the government’s Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations.

He resigned from his parliamentary seat, in accord with the constitution.

Konrote now takes up the post for three years.

Outgoing President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau’s term ends this month.