Saturday, February 4, 2012

Epeli Nailatikau

Brigadier-General Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, CF, LVO, OBE, MSD, OStJ, (born 5 July 1941) (often referred to as Na Turaga Mai Naisogolaca) is a Fijian chief and the current President of Fiji. He has had a long career in the Military, diplomatic service, and government. From 2001 to 2006 he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives - the lower and more powerful chamber of the Fijian Parliament. He was also the Chairman of the Parliamentary Appropriations Committee and of the House Committee. On 8 January 2007, he was appointed the interim Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade; he was moved to the post of interim Minister for Provincial Development and Multi-Ethnic Affairs in September 2008. In October 2008, he became Indigenous Affairs Minister "and effectively Great Council of Chiefs chairman". On 17 April 2009, he was appointed Vice-President by the Military government. On 30 July 2009, he became Acting President after the retirement of 88-year-old President Iloilo. On 5 November 2009, he was sworn in as the new President of Fiji.

Personal Life
As a chief by birth through his paternal side via his maternal grandmother who is the grandaughter of Ratu Seru Cakobau, Epeli Nailatikau has the title of Ratu. He is the second son of Ratu Edward Cakobau, who commanded the Fijian Battalion in World War II. He is also a great-great-grandson of Seru Epenisa Cakobau from his Grandaughter Adi Litia Cakobau, the first monarch to rule over a unified Fijian kingdom after conquering all the tribes of Fiji and uniting them under his leadership, and who ceded the Fiji Islands to the United Kingdom in 1874. In addition, he is a grandson of King George Tupou II of Tonga. His father is the product of issue between HRH King Tupou III and Adi Litia Cakobau who was sent to Tonga as a trial bride to the King but was later rejected as they could not wed under the normal Tongan constitution.

In 1981, he married Adi Koila Mara, the second daughter of modern Fiji's former Prime Minister and President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. Adi Koila is also a politician in her own right; like her husband, she has served as a Member of Parliament, Cabinet minister, and, most recently, Senator. They have two children: a son, Kamisese Vuna (named after Adi Koila's father), and a daughter, Litia Cakobau.

From :