|14th President of Nauru|
11 June 2013
|Preceded by||Sprent Dabwido|
|Minister of Education|
22 June 2004 – 17 December 2007
|Preceded by||Marcus Stephen|
|Succeeded by||Roland Kun|
29 May 2003 – 8 August 2003
|Preceded by||Remy Namaduk|
|Succeeded by||Marcus Stephen|
|Member of the Nauruan Parliament
3 May 2003
|Preceded by||Ross Cain|
|Born||(1959-12-31) 31 December 1959
Baron Divavesi Waqa (/bæˈrɒn dɪvəveɪˈsiː wɑːˈkɑː/; ) is a Nauruan politician who has been 14th President of Nauru since 11 June 2013. He previously served as Minister of Education from 2004 to 2007.
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.
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.
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.The government also sought to draft an emergency rule law with the help of Fijian lawyers. 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.
Baron Waqa is married to Louisa Waqa.