Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, CF, MSD, OStJ, Fijian Navy, known commonly as Frank Bainimarama and sometimes by the chiefly title Ratu (born 27 April, 1954), is a Fijian naval officer and politician. He is the Commander of the Fijian Military Forces and, as of 5 January 2007, Interim Prime Minister. While serving as Prime Minister, he has also temporarily held various ministerial portfolios: Information, Home Affairs, Immigration, Public Service, Indigenous and Multi-Ethnic Affairs, Finance, and Foreign Affairs.
Bainimarama is an ethnic Fijian (not an Indian Fijian), though he appears to support a multi-ethnic Fiji.
Bainimarama has taken power twice in Fiji's history, the first time as Head of the Interim Military Government of Fiji from 29 May to 13 July 2000, after organizing a counter-coup to neutralize the ethnic Fijian putsch led by George Speight. He handed power over to the newly-appointed President Ratu Josefa Iloilo. He was instrumental in the rise to power of the government of the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, but his intense criticism of the government's policy of showing leniency towards persons implicated in the coup later strained his relations with the regime, and on 5 December 2006, he overthrew the Qarase government and announced that he had "reluctantly" assumed the powers of the presidency. He restored Ratu Josefa Iloilo to the Presidency on 4 January 2007, and was formally appointed Interim Prime Minister by Iloilo the next day. The appointment was declared lawful by the Supreme Court of Fiji in October 2008. Fiji's Commodore Frank Bainimarama has stepped down on April 10, 2009 as interim prime minister, after the country's court of appeal ruled the removal of the democratic government during his 2006 military coup was unlawful. President Ratu Josefa Iloilo then announced that he had abolished the constitution, assumed all governing power and revoked all judicial appointments. He reappointed Commodore Frank Bainimarama as prime minister. The media has dubbed Fiji a "Bainimarama republic" , a play on banana republic.