FIJI REGIME ANNOUNCES CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT

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Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to be sworn in next week

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Oct. 29, 2009) - Fiji’s former military commander and parliamentary speaker, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, is reported to be the new president.

The interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has told the Fiji Sun newspaper that Ratu Epeli was appointed earlier this week.

The Fiji government website makes no mention of the decision.

Ratu Epeli succeeds Ratu Josefa Iloilo who retired three months ago.

Only months before his retirement, he said that he had abrogated the constitution, meaning that the body charged with appointing the head of state had been disestablished.

Commodore Bainimarama has told the newspaper that everything will be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting, including the date for Ratu Epeli to be sworn in.

The ceremony is expected to take place next week.

He was made vice president last April and became the acting president when Ratu Josefa retired.

Ratu Epeli spent 20 years in the military and 17 years in the diplomatic service.

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