Born In: Vanua Balavu, Colony of Fiji
Laisenia Qarase was the former Prime Minister of Fiji. The young lad took advantage of his strict religious upbringing to focus on his education, successfully graduating from a prestigious university in a foreign country. Returning to his homeland, Qarase soon began a stellar career in the banking industry. After a series of promotions to head both commercial and government financial institutions, he was appointed to the Senate. After a short stint in the senate, Qarase assumed the reins of power briefly following a destabilizing coup attempt. A year later, this leader marshaled his political forces and his party swept the democratic elections, launching him into the position of the Prime Minister. During his time in power, this politician emphasized greater representation and leadership for his own ethnic group while simultaneously courting cordial relations with foreign countries amenable to his liberalized economic policies. After a successful parliamentary re-election, Qarase's government was overthrown in a military coup. He was then continually harassed by his opponents and was ultimately convicted on corruption charges that many independent observers classify as political persecution.
Died At Age: 79
Spouse/Ex-: Leba Qarase
Born Country: Fiji
political ideology: United Fiji Party (Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua)
place of death: Suva, Fiji
education: University of Auckland, Suva Grammar School
In 1983, he became the managing director of ‘Fiji Development Bank’. He held this position for the next 15 years.
In 1994, he was appointed to be the chairman of ‘Fiji Television, a position he held for four years.
In 1998, Laisenia Qarase was hired to lead the privately owned ‘Fiji Merchant Bank’.
His political career got a kick start in 1999, when the country's Great Council of Chiefs appointed him to the Senate.
In 2000, he was appointed the interim Prime Minister after a coup attempt destabilized the government.
On August 3, 2012, Qarase was found guilty of abuse of office and sentenced to one year in prison. He was released eight months later. He continued to perform the duties of an official opposition politician.
Laisenia Qarase was the Prime Minister of Fiji from March 16, 2001 to December 4, 2006. Though his second term in office was cut short as a result of an ensuing political turmoil, the political leader is known for his policies aimed at improving the economic conditions in the nation.
Laisenia Qarase was married to Leba Qarase. Together they had five children.
Qarase was a devoutly religious Christian his entire life. He was friends with American evangelist Benny Hinn. Hinn's visit in 2005 to Fiji reportedly drew in 370,000 spectators. Qarase had used his fundamentalist religious views to explain his strong prejudices against homosexuality.
Laisenia Qarase died on April 21, 2020, after a short illness. He was 79.
Despite being overthrown in a coup and harassed by his political opponents, this political leader continued to live in Fiji till the time of his death.
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