Qoriniasi Bale

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Qoriniasi Babitu Bale is a lawyer and political leader, who has served twice as Fiji's Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, most recently from 2001 to 2006, when he was deposed in the military coup of 5 December. Like many of Fiji's most influential leaders, Bale is a native of Levukana in Vanuabalavu in the Lau Islands.

Education and early career

Bale was educated at Queen Victoria School then University of Otago in New Zealand, where he graduated with a LLB degree in 1969. Upon returning to Fiji, he was appointed a Crown Counsel in the Crown Law Office, and subsequently became a Crown Prosecutor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1970. In 1975, he became Principal Legal Officer in the Crown Law Office, before being promoted to Solicitor General in 1979, a post he held till 1984. He was the first native-born Solicitor General; his predecessors had all been from the United Kingdom.

Political career

Bale had his first foray into politics in 1984, when the Governor General of Fiji appointed him to the Senate at the nomination of Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. At that time the Senate consisted of 22 members, 7 of whom were nominated by the Prime Minister. He became Attorney General in the Cabinet, and later that year was also appointed to the newly-created position of Minister for Justice. He retired from politics, however, following the defeat of the Alliance Party in the general election of 1987.

Following the Fiji coups of 1987,...
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