Bernadette Ganilau

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Ganilau in 2014

Bernadette Lavenia Rounds Ganilau, born July 5, 1951 as Bernadette Lavenia Rounds, is a Fijian writer, broadcaster, and politician, who recently served as Minister for Labour, Minister for Tourism, Industrial Relations, Productivity and Environment in the interim Cabinet of Commodore Frank Bainimarama, having been appointed on 9 January 2007.[1] In previous political roles, she served in 2000 and 2001 in the Interim Government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase as Assistant Minister for Social Welfare, and from June to December 2006, she was Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives, until the military coup of 5 December.

Long a political activist, Ganilau's causes included women's rights and human rights in general, and has served as President of Women Entrepreneurs Fiji.. She spent much of mid-to-late 2005 campaigning against the government's controversial Reconciliation, Tolerance, and Unity Bill, which proposes to establish a Commission with the power to compensate victims and pardon perpetrators of the Fiji coup of 2000. On 13 July 2005, she described the bill as one that would encourage hatred and violence rather than tolerance and accommodation.

Ganilau is married to, and has an adopted daughter with, Ratu Rabici Ganilau, a son of Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, Fiji's first President (1987-1993). Her brother-in-law, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, is a well-known contemporary politician.

Ganilau contested and won the Suva City General Communal Constituency for the United Peoples Party (UPP) in the general election scheduled for 6–13 May, defeating Cabinet Minister Kenneth Zinck. She was one of two UPP candidates returned in the election. Upon accepting office in the interim government in January 2007, however, UPP leader Mick Beddoes, an opponent of the military coup and of the government formed by its leader, asked her to resign from the party.[2]

In January 2008, Ganilau was "dropped" from the government during a Cabinet reshuffle.[3] In November 2008 she established the Green Party of Fiji.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ministers "More ministers join interim cabinet". Fiji Times. 2007-01-09. 
  2. ^ "Bernadette tipped for interim minister". Fiji Live. 2007-01-09. 
  3. ^ "Nine cabinet ministers dropped in Fiji cabinet reshuffle". Radio New Zealand International. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Fiji to get a Greens’ party". Radio New Zealand International. 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2008-11-25.