Baron Waqa

Baron Waqa
President of Nauru
Assumed office
11 June 2013
Preceded by Sprent Dabwido
Minister of Education
In office
22 June 2004  17 December 2007
President Ludwig Scotty
Preceded by Marcus Stephen
Succeeded by Roland Kun
In office
29 May 2003  8 August 2003
President Ludwig Scotty
Preceded by Remy Namaduk
Succeeded by Marcus Stephen
Member of the Nauruan Parliament
for Boe
Assumed office
3 May 2003
Preceded by Ross Cain
Personal details
Born (1959-12-31) 31 December 1959
Boe, Nauru
Political party Independent

Baron Divavesi Waqa (/bærˈʌn dɪvʌvˈs wɑːˈkʌ/; born 31 December 1959) is a Nauruan politician who has been President of Nauru since 11 June 2013. He previously served as Minister of Education from 2004 to 2007.

Political role

He was elected in the May 2003 elections to the Parliament of Nauru, representing the constituency of Boe. Under President Ludwig Scotty he served as Minister of the Interior and of Education; however, he had to leave the post upon Scotty's replacement by René Harris. He kept his seat in Parliament.

On 23 April 2004 Waqa and his colleagues Kieren Keke, David Adeang and Fabian Ribauw participated in protests at the Nauru International Airport in Yaren; these were meant to show displeasure regarding government policy against Afghan asylum-seekers in Australia and the Flotilla of Hope, as well as against the deadlock then encountered in Parliament. All four faced up to fourteen years in jail because of their participation in the protest; charges were dropped, however, upon Scotty's re-ascension the following June. Scotty once again appointed Waqa to be Minister of Education.[1]

Waqa remained loyal to his Administration during the ministerial crisis which occurred in 2007. Consequently, Waqa was not invited to serve in the subsequent Administration of President Marcus Stephen which later took office.

Waqa was elected president in June, defeating former Finance Minister and opposition nominee Roland Kun by a vote of 13 to 5. He was chosen by the government faction after President Dabwido stepped aside to allow for Waqa's election so that government members could remain in power.[2][3]

In January 2014, he survived a vote of confidence over his deportation of the Australian resident magistrate Peter Law and the cancelling of the visa of the Chief Justice Geoffrey Eames, also an Australian national.[4] The government also sought to draft an emergency rule law with the help of Fijian lawyers.[5] It followed the dismissal of the parliamentary counsel Katy Le Roy and the subsequent resignation of the Solicitor-General Steven Bliim, both of whom were Australian. Home Minister Charmaine Scotty said this was symptomatic of a "system of cronyism" operated by Australian expatriates who he said were in league with the opposition.[6]

Personal life

Baron Waqa is married to Louisa Waqa.[7]

See also


  1. "New president for Nauru". Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  2. "Baron Waqa named as new Nauru president". Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  3. "Waqa elected Nauru president". Radio New Zealand. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  4. "No confidence motion in Nauru fails". Radio New Zealand. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  6. "Aussies out!". The Economist. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  7. "Fiji President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to make state visit to Nauru". The Government of the Republic of Nauru. February 13, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2015.

External links

Media related to Baron Waqa at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Sprent Dabwido
President of Nauru
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