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Josefa Bole Vosanibola is a Fijian politician, who served as Minister for Home Affairs from 16 December 2004, when he was appointed by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase to succeed Joketani Cokanasiga, to 5 December 2006, when his government was deposed in a military coup . Prior to his appointment as Home Affairs Minister, he had served as Minister for Information, and before that as Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation, following his election to represent the Tailevu North Ovalau Open Constituency, as a candidate of the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL), in the parliamentary election of 2001.
Vosanibola, a devout and outspoken Christian who strongly defended the influence of the church in Fijian society, played a role in the foundation of the Christian Democratic Alliance (VLV) in 1998, and unsuccessfully contested the Tailevu North Ovalau Open Constituency for that party in the election of 1999. In the political realignment that followed the 2000 coup, the VLV splintered and Vosanibola joined the SDL.
Political and constitutional views
On 12 August 2005, Vosanibola backed calls for sovereignty over Fiji to be returned to the chiefs. It was the chiefs who ceded sovereignty to the British monarchy in 1874, he said, and it should have been returned to them when Fiji became independent in 1970. The failure to do so was the cause of Fiji's post-independence history of instability, he maintained. "Fijians understand that unless their sovereignty is reinstated their status is subject to the maneuvering of politicking," he said.
On 22 November 2005, Vosanibola strongly criticized Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry for his attacks on the Unity Bill. He said that the government was following parliamentary procedures, and that Chaudhry's demands for it to be withdrawn before it had been tabled were both culturally insensitive and "premature." "The calls by the Opposition Leader to toss the bill out, before the sectoral committee's report on public submissions are tabled in the House, is uncalled for and premature, to say the least," Vosanibola declared. He went on to say that the government welcomed "constructive criticism" and believed in the need to respect other cultures and beliefs. "Peace, reconciliation and unity are sentiments meant not only for the person next door but for all people," he opined.
Seeking renomination from the SDL for the parliamentary election due on 6–13 May 2006, Vosanibola faced a challenge from Eminoni Ranacou, a former agriculture officer. The SDL campaign director, Jale Baba, intervened to ensure that Vosanibola was renominated, over the objections of the local party hierarchy, Fiji Village reported on 12 April. He went on to retain his seat by a large majority, and kept his Cabinet post in the new government that was formed subsequently.
- Frenḳel, Yehonatan Shimʻon; Fraenkel, Jon; Firth, Stewart (2007). From election to coup in Fiji: the 2006 campaign and its aftermath. ANU E Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-7315-3812-6. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- Firth, Stewart; Fraenkel, Jon (April 2009). The 2006 military takeover in Fiji: the coup to end all coups?. ANU E Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-921536-50-2. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- Eur (2002). Far East and Australasia 2003. Psychology Press. p. 990. ISBN 978-1-85743-133-9. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
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