List of heads of state of Fiji

This article lists the heads of state of Fiji, from the establishment of the Kingdom of Fiji in 1871 to the present day.

Tui Viti (King of Fiji) (1871–1874)Edit

Note that Cakobau had been the Vunivalu (Warlord/Paramount Chief) of Bau since 1852. He had long styled himself the Tui Viti (King of Fiji), but had not been recognized as such by other chiefs, and he exercised no direct authority outside his domain of Bau until he united the country under his leadership in 1871. His ancestors, going back as far as 1770, have often – erroneously – been listed as "Kings" of Fiji.

British and later Commonwealth Monarch (1874–1987)Edit

From 1874 to 1970, the British Monarch was Fiji's formal head of state. In 1970, Fiji became an independent Dominion, in the Commonwealth, whereas Queen Elizabeth II, took on the roll of Queen of Fiji.

†Ousted following military coup and proclamation of Republic.

Colonial governors (1874–1970)Edit

Fiji was a British Crown Colony from 1874 to 1970. Although the British Monarch was the head of state, in practice his or her functions were exercised in Fiji by the colonial governor, who acted on instructions from the British government in London .

List of governors of Fiji (1874–1970)Edit

  Governor of Fiji  
No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Tenure Monarch
Took office Left office
Colony of Fiji
1. Sir Hercules Robinson
(1824–1897)
  10 October 1874 June 1875  

Victoria

2. Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon
(1829–1912)
  19 August 1875 1880
3. Sir William Des Vœux
(1834–1909)
  20 December 1880 21 January 1885
John Bates Thurston
(1836–1897)
Acting Governor
  21 January 1885 1 January 1887
4. Sir Charles Mitchell
(1836–1899)
  1 January 1887 February 1888
5. Sir John Bates Thurston
(1836–1897)
  February 1888 7 February 1897
6. Sir George T. M. O'Brien
(1844–1906)
  March 1897 1901
Sir William Allardyce
(1861–1930)
Acting Governor
  1901 10 September 1902  

Edward VII

7. Sir Henry Jackson
(1849–1908)
  10 September 1902 11 October 1904
8. Sir Everard im Thurn
(1852–1932)
  11 October 1904 1910
Sir Charles Major
(1860–1933)
Acting Governor
  1910 21 February 1911
 

George V

9. Sir Francis May
(1860–1922)
  21 February 1911 25 July 1912
10. Sir Ernest Sweet-Escott
(1857–1941)
  25 July 1912 10 October 1918
Sir Eyre Hutson
(1864–1936)
Acting for Sweet-Escott
  1915 1916
11. Sir Cecil Hunter-Rodwell
(1874–1953)
  10 October 1918 25 April 1925
Sir Eyre Hutson
(1864–1936)
Acting for Hunter-Rodwell
  1919 1919
12. Sir Eyre Hutson
(1864–1936)
  25 April 1925 22 November 1929
13. Sir Murchison Fletcher
(1878–1954)
  22 November 1929 May 1936
 

Edward VIII

Sir Cecil Barton
(1891–1980)
Acting Governor
  May 1936 November 1936
14. Sir Arthur Richards
(1885–1978)
  28 November 1936 August 1938
 

George VI

Sir Cecil Barton
(1891–1980)
Acting Governor
  August 1938 September 1938
15. Sir Harry Luke
(1884–1969)
  16 September 1938 21 July 1942
16. Sir Philip Mitchell
(1890–1964)
  21 July 1942 12 January 1944
Sir John Rankine
(1907–1987)
Acting Governor
  12 January 1944 4 May 1944
Sir John Nicoll
(1899–1981)
Acting Governor
  4 May 1944 23 October 1944
Sir John Rankine
(1907–1987)
Acting Governor
  23 October 1944 1 January 1945
17. Sir Alexander Grantham
(1899–1978)
  1 January 1945 21 March 1947
Sir John Nicoll
(1899–1981)
Acting Governor
  21 March 1947 8 October 1947
18. Sir Brian Freeston
(1892–1958)
  8 October 1947 6 October 1952
 

Elizabeth II

19. Sir Ronald Garvey
(1903–1991)
  6 October 1952 28 October 1958
20. Sir Kenneth Maddocks
(1907–2001)
  28 October 1958 6 January 1964
21. Sir Derek Jakeway
(1915–1993)
  6 January 1964 December 1968
22. Sir Robert Sidney Foster
(1913–2005)
  December 1968 10 October 1970

In 1970, Fiji gained independence from the United Kingdom. After independence, the Viceroy in Fiji was the Governor-General of Fiji.

Governors-General (1970–1987)Edit

Fiji became an independent Dominion within the Commonwealth on October 10 1970. The office of governor was renamed governor-general; the only change of function was that the governor-general acted on the advice of the Fijian, rather than the British, government.

List of governors-general of Fiji (1970–1987)Edit

  Governor-General of Fiji  
No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Tenure Monarch
Took office Left office
Dominion of Fiji
1. Sir Robert Sidney Foster
(1913–2005)
  10 October 1970 13 January 1973  

Elizabeth II

2. Ratu Sir George Cakobau
(1912–1989)
  13 January 1973 12 February 1983
3. Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau
(1918–1993)
  12 February 1983 6 October 1987

Presidents (1987–present)Edit

Fiji was proclaimed a republic on 7 October 1987, upon the abdication of Queen Elizabeth II following two military coups. Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka, who had masterminded the coups, formed an interim administration, exercising the powers of the presidency but without taking the title, styling himself Head of the Interim Military Government instead. On 5 December that year, the last Governor General, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, was appointed the first president. Ganilau served as president until 15 December 1993, when he died in office. He was succeeded by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

In the constitutional upheaval of 2000, following the forced resignation of President Mara on 29 May, Commodore Frank Bainimarama styled himself Head of the Interim Military Government (as had Rabuka in 1987), until Ratu Josefa Iloilo was appointed president on 13 July 2000. On 5 December 2006, Commodore Frank Bainimarama deposed the Fijian Government and President Iloilo and again become Head of the Interim Military Government. On 4 January 2007 Iloilo was restored to presidency, and remain president until 30 July 2009, when he retired and Brigadier-General Ratu Epeli Nailatikau become acting president. On 5 November 2009, Nailatikau was sworn in as president.

List of presidents of FijiEdit

No. Portrait President Took office Left office Time in office Party Election Prime Minister
Head of the Interim Military Government
Rabuka, SitiveniMajor general
Sitiveni Rabuka
(born 1948)
Acting
7 October 19875 December 198759 daysRFMF
Presidents of the Republic of Fiji
Ganilau, PenaiaRatu Sir
Penaia Ganilau
(1918–1993)
5 December 198715 December 1993 †6 years, 10 daysIndependent1987Kamisese Mara
Sitiveni Rabuka
Mara, KamiseseRatu Sir
Kamisese Mara
(1920–2004)
Acting
16 December 199318 January 199433 daysIndependentSitiveni Rabuka
Mara, KamiseseRatu Sir
Kamisese Mara
(1920–2004)
18 January 199429 May 20006 years, 132 daysIndependent1994Sitiveni Rabuka
Mahendra Chaudhry
Tevita Momoedonu
Head of the Interim Military Government
Bainimarama, FrankCommodore
Frank Bainimarama
(born 1954)
Acting
29 May 200013 July 200045 daysRFMFLaisenia Qarase
President of the Republic of Fiji
Iloilo, JosefaRatu
Josefa Iloilo
(1920–2011)
13 July 20005 December 20066 years, 145 daysIndependent2000
2006
Laisenia Qarase
Tevita Momoedonu
Laisenia Qarase
Head of the Interim Military Government
Bainimarama, FrankCommodore
Frank Bainimarama
(born 1954)
Acting
5 December 20064 January 200730 daysRFMFJona Senilagakali
Presidents of the Republic of Fiji
Iloilo, JosefaRatu
Josefa Iloilo
(1920–2011)
4 January 200730 July 20092 years, 207 daysIndependentFrank Bainimarama
Nailatikau, EpeliRatu Brigadier general (Rtd)
Epeli Nailatikau
(born 1941)
Acting
30 July 20095 November 200998 daysIndependentFrank Bainimarama
Nailatikau, EpeliRatu Brigadier general (Rtd)
Epeli Nailatikau
(born 1941)
5 November 200912 November 20156 years, 7 daysIndependent2009Frank Bainimarama
Konrote, JiojiMajor general (Rtd)
Jioji Konrote
(born 1947)
12 November 201512 November 20216 years, 0 daysIndependent2015Frank Bainimarama
Ratu
Wiliame Katonivere
(born 1964)
12 November 2021Incumbent15 daysFijiFirst2021Frank Bainimarama

See alsoEdit