Ratu Wiliame Katonivere set to be Fiji’s next president

Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere Photo: SUPPLED

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama will move Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s name on Friday in Parliament to be the next President.

In a post on his official Facebook page Bainimarama said Ratu Wiliame has accepted his nomination.

The Prime Minister described the President-elect as one of the fiercest defenders of the ocean and of the right of Fiji’s future generations to live in a clean, safe and natural environment.

“As the traditional leader of Macuata, he has served as a steward of our Great Sea Reef, the third largest barrier reef in the world,” he said.

“Together, in 2018, we drew a firm blue line of sustainable management to defend that vital ocean ecosystem, protecting the home of 55 percent of the known coral reef fish in Fiji, 74 percent of our known corals, and 40 percent of all the known marine species in our islands.”

Bainimarama said Ratu Wiliame’s own words convey his passion for the life-giving importance of our ocean better than I could hope to do.

“For every Fijian who was brought up by the ocean, the first thing we see when we grow up is the reef,” Ratu Wiliame said.

“It prompts us to ask, what is the importance of the reef? In my qoliqoli, the Great Sea Reef is not only a source of life, it is a sanctuary for us, for the fish, and all marine life. That is why it matters to me. I wish to see those old glory days, when we have enough food, enough fish to eat, we will still have our pristine forests, and cleaner water runs through our streams.”

Bainimarama said Ratu Wiliame’s vision of a better and bluer Fiji is the vision of the government for every Fijian.

“And for the sake of our people, our environment, and our future generations, it is a vision we will march towards together should his nomination succeed.

“I know it was not an easy decision for him to leave his sanctuary in Naduri Village, and I am grateful that he has offered his service to the nation as our nominee for President.

“I cannot imagine a worthier successor to the proud mantle of leadership that President (Jioji) Konrote has established, at home as a pillar of national unity, and abroad, as a champion for peace and inclusive and sustainable development,” Bainimarama said.

Source: RNZ