List of heads of state of Fiji

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This article lists the heads of state of Fiji, from the establishment of the Kingdom of Fiji in 1871 to the present day.

Currently, the head of state of Fiji is the president of the republic, appointed by the Parliament for a three-year term under the terms of the Constitution of 2013.[1]

The current president is Ratu Wiliame Katonivere. He was elected on 22 October 2021,[2] and sworn in on 12 November 2021.[3]

Tui Viti (King of Fiji) (1871–1874)[edit]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Seru Epenisa Cakobauc. 1815 – 1 February 1883
(aged c. 67–68)
5 June 187110 October 1874Son of Tanoa VisawaqaSeru Epenisa Cakobau of Fiji

Note that Cakobau had been the Vunivalu (Warlord/Paramount Chief) of Bau since 1852. He had long styled himself the Tui Viti (King of Fiji), but had not been recognised as such by other chiefs, and he exercised no direct authority outside his domain of Bau until he united the country under his leadership in 1871. His ancestors, going back as far as 1770, have often – erroneously – been listed as "kings" of Fiji.

British period (1874–1970)[edit]

On 10 October 1874, Cakobau signed the Deed of Cession, that granted the British Empire sovereignty over the islands. From 1874 to 1970, the British monarch was Fiji's formal head of state.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Victoria(1819-05-24)24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901(1901-01-22) (aged 81)10 October 187422 January 1901HanoverVictoria of the United Kingdom
Edward VII(1841-11-09)9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910(1910-05-06) (aged 68)22 January 19016 May 1910Son of VictoriaSaxe-Coburg and GothaEdward VII of the United Kingdom
George V(1865-06-03)3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936(1936-01-20) (aged 70)6 May 191020 January 1936Son of Edward VIISaxe-Coburg and Gotha (until 1917)
Windsor (from 1917)
George V of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII(1894-06-23)23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972(1972-05-28) (aged 77)20 January 193611 December 1936
(abdicated)
Son of George VWindsorEdward VIII of the United Kingdom
George VI(1895-12-14)14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952(1952-02-06) (aged 56)11 December 19366 February 1952Son of George VWindsorGeorge VI of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II(1926-04-21)21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022(2022-09-08) (aged 96)6 February 195210 October 1970Daughter of George VIWindsorElizabeth II of the United Kingdom

Governors[edit]

The British monarch was represented by a governor, who acted on the advice of the British government.

Queen of Fiji (1970–1987)[edit]

Fiji became an independent Commonwealth realm on 10 October 1970,[4] and Elizabeth II assumed the role of Queen of Fiji.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Elizabeth II(1926-04-21)21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022(2022-09-08) (aged 96)10 October 19706 October 1987
(deposed)
Daughter of George VIWindsorElizabeth II of Fiji

Governors-general[edit]

The Queen of Fiji was represented by a governor-general, who acted on the advice of the Fijian government.

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Monarch
(Reign)
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Sir Robert Sidney Foster
(1913–2005)
10 October 1970 13 January 1973 2 years, 95 days
Elizabeth II
2 Ratu Sir George Cakobau
(1912–1989)
13 January 1973 12 February 1983 10 years, 30 days
3 Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau
(1918–1993)
12 February 1983 6 October 1987 4 years, 236 days

Presidents (1987–present)[edit]

Fiji was proclaimed a republic on 7 October 1987,[5] upon the deposition of the Fijian monarchy following two military coups.

Portrait President Took office Left office Time in office Party Election Prime minister(s)
Sitiveni Rabuka
Major General
Sitiveni Rabuka
(born 1948)
Acting
Head of the Interim Military Government
7 October 19875 December 198759 days RFMF
Penaia Ganilau
Ratu Sir
Penaia Ganilau
(1918–1993)
5 December 198715 December 1993 †6 years, 10 days Independent1987Mara
Rabuka
Kamisese Mara
Ratu Sir
Kamisese Mara
(1920–2004)
16 December 1993
Acting until 18 January 1994
29 May 20006 years, 165 days Independent1994Rabuka
Chaudhry
Momoedonu
Frank Bainimarama
Commodore
Frank Bainimarama
(born 1954)
Acting
Head of the Interim Military Government
29 May 200013 July 200045 days RFMFQarase
Josefa Iloilo
Ratu
Josefa Iloilo
(1920–2011)
13 July 20005 December 20066 years, 145 days Independent2000
2006
Qarase
Momoedonu
Qarase
Frank Bainimarama
Commodore
Frank Bainimarama
(born 1954)
Acting
Head of the Interim Military Government
5 December 20064 January 200730 days RFMFSenilagakali
Josefa Iloilo
Ratu
Josefa Iloilo
(1920–2011)
4 January 200730 July 20092 years, 207 days IndependentBainimarama
Epeli Nailatikau
Ratu Brigadier General (Rtd)
Epeli Nailatikau
(born 1941)
30 July 2009
Acting until 5 November 2009
12 November 20156 years, 105 days Independent2009Bainimarama
Jioji Konrote
Major General (Rtd)
Jioji Konrote
(born 1947)
12 November 201512 November 20216 years FijiFirst2015
2018
Bainimarama
Wiliame Katonivere
Ratu
Wiliame Katonivere
(born 1964)
12 November 2021Incumbent2 years, 108 days FijiFirst2021Bainimarama
Rabuka

Timeline[edit]

Wiliame KatonivereJioji KonroteEpeli NailatikauJosefa IloiloFrank BainimaramaKamisese MaraSitiveni RabukaPenaia GanilauGeorge CakobauRobert Sidney FosterElizabeth IIGeorge VIEdward VIIIGeorge VEdward VIIQueen VictoriaSeru Epenisa Cakobau

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Constitution of the Republic of Fiji" (PDF). 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Ratu Wiliame is Fiji's new Head of State". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  3. ^ "New President sworn in". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  4. ^ Robert Trumbull (10 October 1970). "Fiji Raises the Flag of Independence After 96 Years of Rule by British". New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  5. ^ "FIJI COUP LEADER DECLARES REPUBLIC". New York Times. Associated Press. 7 October 1987. Retrieved 13 August 2022.