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Mara, Ratu Sir Kamisese

Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, 1920–2004, Fijian political leader. A paramount chief of the Lau Islands, he was educated in Fiji, New Zealand, and England, founded (1960) the Alliance party, and helped negotiate Fiji's independence from Great Britain. Chief minister from 1967, he became prime minister in 1970. Fiji largely prospered under Mara, who was an influential Pacific statesman, but he lost to the Indian-led Labor party in 1987. Mara gave his tacit approval to the army's overthrow of Labor a month later, and was again prime minister (1987–92) under a new constitution. He became acting president in 1993 and president the next year, serving until forced out by the army when it seized power after quashing an indigenous uprising in 2000.

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