Due to alterations made to the electoral decree, these candidates were unfortunately forced to withdraw;
1. Makereta Waqavonovono
“I am concerned about the fragile state of the rule of law in Fiji and how our legal system has been undermined.”
Makereta Waqavonovono has a wealth of knowledge, experience and commitment to the law and democracy in Fiji.
What This Election Means To YOU: A return to good governance, transparent and accountable government government which looks after the concerns of all citizens.
Passion for Change: To be part of a new leadership in our country that puts in place measures to make sure we never have to encounter unlawful takeovers.
Profession: A lawyer with more than 25 years of work in various areas of law in Australia, Fiji and Solomon Islands.
Career Highlights: Legal Advisor to the Forum Secretariat, Resident Magistrate in Lautoka and Suva, headed Fiji Legal Aid Commission and Senior Advisor in the Solomon Islands Public Solicitor’s Office (2012).
Qualifications: Arts degree from the University of the South Pacific, Law Degree from the University of New South Wales and a Master’s of Law, Governance and Development from the Australian National University (2013).
Makereta is new to national politics but brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and commitment to the law and democracy. She is a consultant lawyer who has worked more than 25 years in various areas of law and other disciplines in Australia, Fiji and Solomon Islands. She is concerned about the fragile state of the rule of law in our country and how our legal system has been undermined in recent years, and is interested in pursuing social and gender justice.
Makareta, now in her 50’s lives in Suva where she was born when her late parents came from Lau to seek a better life in Suva. They were hard working and understood and taught her well the value of education and hard work. Makareta’s father completed primary education and worked in the “native” administration; as a Fijian Magistrate before becoming an Assistant Roko serving in various provincial and rural districts in Fiji. Her mother was not formally educated but supplemented the extended family income by selling handicrafts to tourists in Suva market. Makareta has three surviving older sisters and a younger brother, and numerous nieces and nephews who keep her abreast with younger generational issues!
After schooling at Dudley Primary and Adi Cakobau, Makareta said she was fortunate in being given opportunities to pursue further education to do a Bachelor of Arts at the University of the South Pacific, then at the University of New South Wales in Australia where she did a Bachelor of Laws degree, and more recently a Master of Laws degree in Law, Governance and Development at the Australian National University.
Before going to Australia to study in 1982, Makareta worked as a researcher on social, gender and development issues at USP and for a Pacific women’s non government organisation. After gaining a law degree she worked in the Lands Department and Crown Solicitor’s Office in Sydney for five years and returned to Fiji to be legal advisor to the Forum Secretariat before moving into private practice. From 1996 she worked for seven years as a Resident Magistrate in Lautoka and Suva, presiding over civil, criminal and family cases and conducting court circuits in other semi-urban and rural districts in Fiji. Her career in the judiciary was interrupted by the coups of 2000 and 2006 when she became convinced she could not continue with the then administrations. She has also worked as Director for the Legal Aid Commission and as Senior Legal Advisor in the Solomon Islands Public Solicitor’s Office for over eight years.
Makareta was the first female elected to be the vice president of the USP Students Association in 1976. She has served in various boards and committees for the Fiji YWCA, Fiji Broadcasting Commission, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and the Fiji/NZ Education Trust. While in Australia she was very active in the Fiji pro democracy movement. She is interested in making ordinary people more aware of their legal and human rights and the avenues for redress and measures to ensure there is respect for the law by all citizens and that the laws are accessible and apply equally to every citizen. Makareta would like to see a more peaceful and non-militarised Fiji that promotes economic opportunities for all and wants to be involved in the equal development of women and men in our communities.
2. Jone Vakalalabure
“I am concerned with the rule of law, parliamentary democracy and freedom of human rights.”
Jone Vakalalabure, 40, is a trusted man of the village with a Masters degree in International Relations and a particular interests in governance and social justice.
Career: From a Savusavu farming family, he has worked in health and development administration and facilitation for regional and international organisations including the UN. Most recently was a monitoring and evaluations specialist with the Pacific Leadership Program, and is also chairperson of village trust funds. He understands the struggles of rural communities because of his experiences as a student during tough times.
Leadership: Serving the people first to bring about developmental leadership for policy and institutional reforms for the public good and striving for good academic debate and participation in a well respected environment for developmental change.
Aims: Firstly to repair the economy because it is the single biggest factor affecting people every day.
Passion: For democracy and liberating people to realise their full potential.
Jone Vakalalabure is a trusted man of the village with a Masters degree in International Relations from La Trobe University in Australia and a particular interests in governance and social justice in Fiji, and Middle Eastern and Asian geopolitics.
He was born in Savusavu 40 years ago into a farming family. He attended Labasa College and then went to university in Melbourne. His career has taken him to the Fiji Red Cross as health and care coordinator, as Program Specialist in the Joint United Nations Program for HIV/AIDS, as a climate change and development facilitator with the UN Development Program, and most recently as monitoring and evaluations specialist with the Pacific Leadership Program until deciding to stand for election. He is also chairperson of village trust funds.
Jone Vakalabure is standing for election because he wants to help bring back the rule of law, parliamentary democracy and freedom of human rights. He chose to stand with NFP because as the oldest party in Fiji, it has stood through the best and worst of times without losing its focus or its principles, and has demonstrated solidarity, inclusiveness, cohesiveness and unity.
For him, parliamentary leadership is about serving the people first to bring about developmental leadership for policy and institutional reforms for the public good. He brings to this a good background and perspectives of struggling in the rural community. He understands about having to work his way through tough times to achieve good academic qualifications and work experience covering not only in Fiji but in the region and internationally. It is this lifelong experience that he wants to give back as a learning to the younger generation. He continually strives for good academic debate and participation in a well respected environment for developmental change. The first thing he plans to do in parliament is to repair the economy because it is the single biggest factor affecting people every day. He feels people can trust their vote to him because he has demonstrated that he can work hard, persevere, has knowledge and passion for democracy and liberating people to realise their full potential.
Jone likes keeping fit and going hiking and camping, and is a bachelor dad to a five year old son.