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Jioji Konrote

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Jioji Konousi Konrote, OF, MC, also known as George Konrote (born 26 December 1947),[1] is a Fijian politician and retired Major-General of the Fiji Military who has been President of Fiji since 2015. After commanding a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, Konrote served as Fiji's High Commissioner to Australia from 2001 to 2006, as Minister of State for Immigration briefly in 2006, and as Minister for Employment Opportunities, Productivity and Industrial Relations from 2014 to 2015. He is the first non-iTaukei president and the first Seventh-day Adventist to be elected by parliament, as previous presidents were selected by the Great Council of Chiefs.[2][3]


George Konrote

Jioji Konrote December 2017.jpg
President of Fiji
Assumed office
12 November 2015
Prime MinisterFrank Bainimarama
Preceded byEpeli Nailatikau
Personal details
Born
Jioji Konousi Konrote

(1947-12-26) 26 December 1947 (age 70)
Rotuma, Fiji
Political partyFijiFirst
Spouse(s)Sarote Faga Konrote
Children2
Alma materNatabua High School

Early life and military careerEdit

Konrote is a native of the island of Rotuma. His days as a pupil at Natabua High School in Lautoka, Fiji, are described in the prize-winning book on Fiji Kava in the Blood by Peter Thomson.

A career soldier, Konrote enlisted into the RFMF in 1966 and trained with New Zealand and Australian defence forces, studying at institutions such as the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies and the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, Australia, (where he became a Fellow in 1996), and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2000.

Rising through the ranks of the Fiji Military, he commanded battalions of Fijian soldiers in their peacekeeping efforts in Lebanon during the Fiji's UNIFIL campaign, and was subsequently appointed Deputy Force Commander of the UNIFIL operation, and finally the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Force Commander in Lebanon. In recognition of his contributions in these fields, Konrote was awarded the UNIFIL Peace Medal (1978), the Military Cross (UK, 1982), the Order of Merit (Italy, 1997), the Order of the Cedar (Lebanon, 1999) and was made an Officer of the Order of Fiji (Military Division) in 1997.

Diplomatic and political careerEdit

From 2001 to 2006, Konrote served as Fiji's High Commissioner to Australia.[4] After his appointment, equivalent to that of an ambassador, expired at the end of March 2006, he was elected to represent the Rotuman Communal Constituency in the 2006 election,[5] and he was subsequently appointed as Minister of State for Immigration and Ex-Servicemen in the Cabinet of Laisenia Qarase. His role in this portfolio abruptly ended when the government was deposed in a military coup led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama on 5 December 2006.

Despite serving in the Qarase government, Konrote became a candidate for Bainimarama's party, FijiFirst, in the 2014 election,[6] winning 1,585 votes.[7] He was subsequently appointed as Minister for Employment Opportunities, Productivity and Industrial Relations in September 2014.[8]

On 12 October 2015, Konrote resigned from Parliament after being elected as President of Fiji.[9] He was sworn in on 12 November 2015.[10][11]Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ate at the State dinner at the GPH with Parliament Speaker Dr. Jiko Luveni, President Jioji Konrote and First Lady Sarote, on 23 October 2018[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Vuniwaqa, Bola-Bari (13 October 2015). "Who is Jioje Konrote". Fiji Times. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  2. ^ Adventist Elected as President of Fiji Adventist Review Retrieved 20 October 2015
  3. ^ Major General Jioji Konousi Konrote Adventist News Network Retrieved 18 October 2018
  4. ^ (9 June 2005). Fiji envoy attends minister's funeral in Australia, BBC Monitoring International Reports (from Fijilive web site, Suva) ("Fiji's high commissioner to Australia, Maj-Gen George Konrote ....")
  5. ^ "New Fiji MP yet to decide who to support". Radio New Zealand International. 17 May 2006. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  6. ^ "FijiFirst completes election candidate list". Radio New Zealand International. 2014-08-16. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  7. ^ "2014 Election Results". Fiji Elections Office. Archived from the original on 21 September 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  8. ^ "20-member Cabinet announced". FBC. 2014-09-24. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  9. ^ "Fiji Parliament elects new President". Radio New Zealand International. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Fiji swears in new president". Radio New Zealand International. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  11. ^ Fiji's first Adventist president is officially sworn in Adventist News Network Retrieved 26 November 2018
  12. ^ Swami, Nasik (23 October 2018). "Harry and Meghan Fiji visit: Duke and Duchess look forward to meeting many Fijians". The Fiji Times. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
Epeli Nailatikau
President of Fiji
2015–present
Incumbent