22 Nov 2018

Fiji Government ministers sworn in

2:07 pm on 22 November 2018

Two newcomers to Fiji's parliament have been sworn in as government ministers at a ceremony in Suva.

The front of Fiji's parliament buildings in Suva.

The front of Fiji's parliament buildings in Suva. Photo: RNZ / Jamie Tahana

The FijiFirst government has only slightly reshuffled its front bench after winning another four years in power.

The former head of Fiji's consumer watchdog Premila Kumar takes on the heavyweight portfolios of industry, trade and tourism, local government and housing.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum loses education to Rosy Akbar but retains the role of Attorney General and four other portfolios including economy.

Health has been taken up by newcomer and prominent local surgeon Ifereimi Waqainabete.

The government whip in the last term Ashneel Sudhakar has been promoted to the role of Minister of Lands and Resources, vacated by Faiyaz Koya who lost his seat.

The leader of FijiFirst Frank Bainimarama announces the party's candidates for the 2018 election

Photo: RNZ

Inia Seruiratu takes on defence and national security from Ratu Inoke Kubuabola who did not run.

The prime minister Frank Bainimarama retains iTaukei Affairs, the sugar industry and foreign affairs.

Ministers retaining their portfolios include Mereseini Vuniwaqa with women and children and poverty alleviation, Semi Koroilavesau with fisheries and Osea Naiqamu with the forestry portfolio.

Parveen Bala has been appointed Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations held formerly by Jone Usamate who now has responsibility for infrastructure, transport, disaster management and meteorological services.

Mahendra Reddy takes on agriculture, rural and maritime development as well as waterways and the environment.

Eight assistant ministers were also sworn in.

Alipate Nagata, the third highest polling FijiFirst candidate, did not make the ministerial line-up.