10 Oct 2006

Fiji names former academic and politician as next ambassador to UN

6:24 am on 10 October 2006

A former Fiji academic and politician, Dr Tupeni Baba, is to be the country's next ambassador to the United Nations in New York.

Fiji TV reports that this has been confirmed by the chief executive of the public service commission, Anare Jale, who says the government has asked the PSC to prepare a contract for Dr Baba.

Dr Baba will replace the former police commissioner, Col Isikia Savua, whose term as ambassador has ended.

Dr Baba was a founding member of the Fiji Labour Party and was deputy prime minister in the Labour coalition government whose members were seized in the May 2000 coup and held hostage at gunpoint for 56 days.

He formed the New Labour Unity Party and unsuccessfully fought the 2001 general election.

This year Dr Baba joined the ruling SDL and when he failed to win his seat in the May election the prime minister appointed him a government senator.