12 Sep 2016

Fiji PMs foreign minister appointment "interesting"

3:41 pm on 12 September 2016

A Fijian academic says the Fiji prime minister's appointment of himself as foreign minister creates an interesting situation.

Frank Bainimarama

Frank Bainimarama Photo: Supplied

In a surprise cabinet reshuffle late on Friday night, Frank Bainimarama announced that he will take over the foreign affairs ministry.

He takes the portfolio from Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, who found out while he was at the Pacific Islands Forum Summit in Pohnpei.

Steven Ratuva, from New Zealand's Canterbury University, said Fiji has been in a geopolitical shift for years, and is now at a stage where it's trying to project itself internationally.

He said Mr Bainimarama will want to lead that shift, although he is not known for his diplomacy.

"He wants to take over that position to kind of lead the way in relation to Fiji role within the region and also internationally. Whether the other countries in the region or internationally see that as a wise move is subject to question, particularly in relation to what some may see as his diplomatic capacity engaging with other leaders."

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