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Archived News: October 2015

From Fiji Times Online (26 October 2015)

Dance group to represent Oceania

By Talebula Kate

RAKO Pasefika is ready to showcase their Rotuman culture on the international arena.

The renowned dance group has been chosen to represent the Oceania region at the 2015 ANOC Annual Awards in Washington DC on Thursday.

The group will be among other international cultural performing artistes at the ANOC Annual Gala Dinner at the Daughters of Revolution Constitution Hall. Rako Pasefika co-founder and music director Paul Dominiko said the group of 15 performing artistes were honoured to represent the Oceania region and that for most of them this would be their international debut.

"Every member of the team has been consistently performing on the national and regional stage and this will be a well-deserved international debut for the majority of the team and we're looking forward to the experience," Dominiko said.

"This is an opportune time for us to showcase our identity especially with the Rotuman culture being on the UN Endangered Culture list.

"It's one of the most prestigious event we've been invited to."

Rako co-founder and artistic director Letila Mitchell said the team consisted of young Pacific Islanders from the ages of 14 to 28 years who trained at Rako Pasefika.

"Rako will be performing a five-minute piece that highlights the beauty and depth of our Rotuman heritage.

"The piece also shows the links we have to our island relatives particularly Rabi, Wallis and Futuna, Tonga and Tahiti.

"The piece called Safu is about the ocean and the connection of our lands through its rivers to the ocean. It is a call to our people and the world to protect our oceans, our land, our people and our livelihoods."

Rako Pasefika leaves on October 23 for an 11-day tour.

© Fiji Times Ltd.

Fiji Sun Online (27 October 2015)

Konrote Will Be Fair To All

by Maika Bolatiki, Suva

The President-elect, Jioji Konusi Konrote, says he will champion and practice his own concept of the 3Fs.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun at his residence at Namadi Heights yesterday he said the 3Fs stood for – fair, firm and friendly.

He said when in office he had to be fair to all Fijians.

The second 'F' he said was firm. "I have to be firm on my decisions when I'm in office," he said.

Mr Konrote said the last one was for friendly. This would signify that the Office of the President was open to all and would never be closed to anyone.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama told the media at Qelekuro Village last week that the new president would be sworn- in on November 12.

The swearing-in would also mark the last day in office of outgoing President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
"On that day President Ratu Epeli will leave office while I come in, as the Constitution does not allow the Office of the President to be vacant," Mr Konrote said.

Ratu Epeli was sworn into office on the November 12, 2013.

© 2015 Sun (Fiji) News Limited.

Fiji Sun Online (13 October 2015)

Konrote Backed by Chiefs, Rotuma

iTaukei chiefs and Rotuma yesterday welcomed Jioji Konrote as the incoming President and pledged to back him all the way.

They said he was an excellent choice in the same mould as the incumbent, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

The chiefs' response refuted the Opposition claim that the traditional confederacies of Kubuna, Burebasaga and Tovata had unanimously endorsed Ratu Epeli Ganilau as its presidential candidate. It now appears the mandate was not what was claimed.

Ratu George Kadavulevu Cakobau, a high chief of Bau, the seat of power for Kubuna confederacy, said that Mr Konrote's election was constitutional and he supported his election.

"I fully support Mr Konrote's election as president," he said.

His elder sister, Adi Litia Cakobau, said Mr Konrote's election was a humble and gallant one.

"Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his FijiFirst Government made the right choice and I must congratulate them," she said.

She said it was also historic for the people of Rotuma as he was the first from the island to get the top job.

Adi Finau Tabakaucoro said that Mr Konrote's choice was an excellent one and must be given the support.

Rewa chief, Ro Epeli Mataitini said he supported Mr Konrote's election.

"The PM had made the right choice and I support Mr Konrote as our new president," he said.

Turaga na Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, said he fully supported Mr Konrote and thanked PM for his choice.

"I give my total support to Mr Konrote," he said.

His election was constitutional, he said. Tui Wainunu Ratu Orisi Baleitavea said he supported Mr Konrote as the next president.

He said all Fijians should support Mr Konrote. Ratu Orisi said it was expected for SODELPA to be making noises after the election as their candidate was not voted.

The spokesman for Ratu Kinijoji Vosailagi, the Nadroga/Navosa chief, Ratu Tevita Makutu, said his chief would comment later.

Speaking from Rotuma yesterday, the chairman of the Rotuma Council, Tarterani Rigamoto said they were very proud of Mr Konrote to be the next president.

"Mr Konrote is a true son of Rotuma and we are proud he has been elected to be the next President," he said.

He said they would plan for a celebration as soon as Mr Konrote started in the President's office.

Mr Konrote was elected President in a special Parliament sitting yesterday. His name was put forward by Mr Bainimarama while the Leader of the Opposition, Ro Teimumu Kepa, nominated Ratu Epeli.

The Speaker, Dr Jiko Luveni, announced that Mr Konrote would be the new president when he received 31votes. Ratu Epeli got 14 votes and the three National Federation Party parliamentarians, Biman Prasad,Tupou Draunidalo and Prem Singh abstained.

In a release signed by party president, Ms Draunidalo and party leader Mr Prasad, they said NFP abstained because the process to elect a President who was supposed to symbolise the unity of the nation, had not been de-politicised and most importantly lacked bipartisanship with both the Prime Minister and theLeader of the Opposition nominating their own nominees. They said it was not done through dialogue and consultation. But they were among the first to congratulate Mr Konrote.

The voting process followed the requirements of the Constitution. There is no mention of a bipartisan approach and a depoliticised process.

From Fiji Broadcasting  Corporation (13 October 2015)

Rotumans welcome government decision

Report by: Savaira Tabua

The Council of Rotuma will be having a special sitting next week to celebrate the newly elected President elect of Fiji – Jioji Konusi Konrote

Speaking from Rotuma- Council Chairman Tarteraini Rigamoto says the celebration will be held after the swearing in ceremony.

Major General Konrote served 36-years as a soldier and military Commander.

Within the RFMF Konrote has served with the 1st Ranger Squadron, Special Air Service of the New Zealand Army and also with the British Far East Land Forces in Hong Kong .

In 1997-1999 he was appointed as an Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and took over as the Force Commander UNIFIL.

The Council of Rotuma is thankful to government for electing a Rotuman to become the first non-indigenous President of the country.

From Fiji Times Online (13 October 2015)

Rotumans welcome Konrote as President

by Siteri Sauvakacolo

THE Fiji Rotuman Association has welcomed the election of one of their own sons as the country's next President.

Association chairman Pasirio Furivai said it was a proud yet a humbling moment for them to have their own son Jioje Konrote being elected Fiji's next President.

Mr Furivai said they hoped that Mr Konrote would receive the support of the people in general, saying that for an office like the Office of the President, full support of the public was needed.

"I agree with the choice not because of his colourful service because there are many people who have colourful service as well in Fiji," he said.

"But I think it's his humility and I think the Government has made a good choice and as Fijians we should support him."

© Fiji Times Ltd.

From Fiji Broadcasting  Corporation (12 October 2015)

Konrote is the right choice

Taken from: Department of Information Fiji
Report by: Tokasa Rainima

Jioji Konrote, former Military Colonel who was elected as Fiji's new President in Parliament this morning, has been praised by his colleagues from the Government.

Minister for Education, Dr Mahendra Reddy says Konrote has earned that particular position.

"He has a very impressive record in terms of contribution to Fiji, very matured, very balanced and level headed, definitely will be a symbol of unity, progress for Fiji."

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola says he is the right person to be elected.

"Historical Day today for a new president to be elected. Am happy that Konrote has been elected, excellent choice."

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Jone Usamate says it was the right choice.

"Am sure he is going to be a great president for all the people of Fiji. Another people's president"

The announcement was made by the Speaker of Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni in Parliament.

From Fiji Broadcasting  Corporation (11 October 2015)

Konrote is new President elect of Fiji

Report by: Elenoa Turagaiviu

Jioji Konrote is now the new President elect of Fiji

Konrote won the vote 31 – 14 over Opposition Nominee Ratu Epeli Ganilau.

Three MP's abstained from voting.

Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni made the announcement in Parliament this morning.

''In accordance with Section 84 Clause 3 of the 2013 Constitution, Major General Jioji Konusi Konrote having received the support of the majority of the Members of Parliament present is appointed as the President of the Republic of Fiji by Parliament''.

Konrote now takes up the post for three years.

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

From Fiji Times Online (10 October 2015)

Konrote for President

by Tevita Vuibau

Jioji Konrote

MINISTER for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Major-General Jioji Konrote could be our next President come Monday, the first Fijian of Rotuman descent.

As the Government nominee, Mr Konrote is expected to take up residence at Government House when Parliament votes for the new President.

Mr Konrote will oppose Opposition nominee Ratu Epeli Ganilau.

Under the 2013 Constitution, persons are not qualified to be nominated for the office of presidency if they are a member of or hold a post in any political party.

Constitution lawyer Jon Apted said Mr Konrote would have to resign from his ministerial post in the Bainimarama Government prior to his official nomination.

In making the announcement yesterday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said Mr Konrote has had a long, dedicated and distinguished career serving Fiji as a military officer, Commander, an international peacekeeper and a senior civil servant and diplomat.

"With his more than 41 years of service to Fiji and the Fijian people, Major General Konrote is a paragon of loyalty, courage and devotion to duty in his performance as a military commander, honesty and dedication as a senior civil servant and Minister, and tact and perseverance as a diplomat," Mr Bainimarama said.

"I will be nominating his name officially to the Speaker as provided for under sections 83 and 84 of the Fijian Constitution before the sitting of Parliament on Monday, 12 October."

Mr Konrote was the only Fijian to be appointed as Force Commander of UNIFIL and UN Assistant Secretary General.

© Fiji Times Ltd.

From Fiji Times Online (9 October 2015)

PM nominates Konrote for President

by Avinesh Gopal

Update: 6:08PM PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has nominated the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jioji Konrote for the position of President.

Mr Bainimarama said in a statement that he would nominate Mr Konrote's name officially to the Speaker of Parliament as provided for under sections 83 and 84 of the Fijian Constitution before the sitting of Parliament on Monday.

He said Mr Konrote was one of Fiji's most outstanding and decorated military officers, and he has been awarded with numerous awards and decorations during his illustrious career.

© Fiji Times Ltd.

From Fiji Times Online (5 October 2015)

Minister reassures youths on promises

by Sikeli Qounadovu

The Minister for Youth and Sports has reassured youths in the Eastern Division that he will make every effort to deliver and fulfil his promises.

While speaking to youth representatives from Lau, Lomaiviti and Rotuma, Laisenia Tuitubou said his first target was to meet more than half of the 2541 registered youth groups.

Mr Tuitubou, while addressing the youths at the ministry's head office in Suva this week, confirmed that so far he had visited about 500 youth groups.

"As promised, we will come to your villages to see what you need and also to hear of your concerns.

"For those in Rotuma, our assistant minister will be leaving on Friday to visit the youths in Rotuma and will be spending a week there but I will come to visit you before the end of this year," Mr Tuitubou said.

Juju youth club from Rotuma representative Lorraine Rigamoto expressed her gratitude that despite the islands geographical location, the Government had not forgotten them.

"We are very glad that we have had the opportunity to raise our concerns with him and his reassurance that he will come and visit maritime youths will boost our confidence as young people and will strengthen our relationship with the ministry."

© Fiji Times Ltd.