Statement from the Prime Minister
Midway through our current Parliamentary term, the FijiFirst Government has decided to reinvigorate our Cabinet with a reshuffle of Ministerial responsibilities. This reshuffle will enhance our ability to continue to provide the high level of service that the Fijian people have come to expect.
I will be assuming the role of Foreign Minister in addition to my current duties as Prime Minister, Minister for iTaukei Affairs and Minister for Sugar. The current Foreign Minister, the Honourable Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, will move to the Defence, National Security and Immigration portfolio.
The other changes are as follows:
The Honourable Rosy Akbar is appointed the new Minister for Health and Medical Services, replacing the Honourable Jone Usamate, who moves to the position of Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations.
The current Employment Minister, the Honourable Semi Koroilavesau, becomes Minister for Fisheries. The Honourable Osea Naiqamu, the current Minister for Fisheries and Forestry, retains the portfolio of Minister for Forestry.
The current Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Honourable Faiyaz Koya, retains those responsibilities but is given the additional portfolio of Lands and Mineral Resources. An assistant minister will be appointed in due course.
The current Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, the Honourable Mereseini Vuniwaqa, will assume the position of Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, currently held by the Honourable Rosy Akbar.
In addition to these full members of the Cabinet, I have decided to appoint the current Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services, the Honourable Veena Bhatnagar to the position of Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, reporting to Minister Vuniwaqa and focussing on enhancing the rights of disabled people.
She will be replaced at Health by the Honourable Alex O’Connor, who will become the new Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services, focussing on public health and reporting to Minister Akbar.
I thank our Ministers and Assistant Ministers for their service over the past two years and look forward to working closely with them in their reassigned portfolios for the remainder of the Government’s term as we serve the Fijian people and take our nation forward.