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Fiji’s President retires

 

Jul 28, 2009 12:00:00 AM

Fiji’s President Ratu Josefa Iloilo has announced his retirement.

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama announced the retirement at a press conference this afternoon, saying the President would retire after taking leave from July 30.

Bainimarama said Iloilo informed him of his decision to retire during a visit to Government House this afternoon.

Accompanied by Attorney-General Aiyaz Saiyed-Khaiyum and permanent secretary for Information, Lieutenant-Colonel Neumi Leweni, Bainimarama said Iloilo’s decision to stand down was a truly significant event, “the symbolic passing of the torch from a statesman who has made a tremendous contribution to the nation and to the lives of all Fijians”.

Iloilo, 88, has been President since 2000 and holds the traditional title of Tui Vuda.

“Under His Excellency Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda’s passionate and persistent leadership, the people of Fiji have come together to fully participate and contribute constructively to the People’s Charter initiative. His Excellency has served Fiji with fortitude and strength,” said Bainimarama.

Recently-appointed Vice-President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will perform the functions of the President’s Office until a substantive appointment is made by the Chief Justice upon the advice and nomination of the Cabinet, said Bainimarama.

Yesterday, the Public Service Commission confirmed Iloilo’s secretary Rupeni Nacewa was retiring today and would be replaced by Commissioner Western Joeli Rokovada.

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