Fiji’s new leader for the first time in 16 years

by Zauqi Farooqi
Sitiveni Rabuka

For the first time in 16 years, Fiji has Citiveni Rabuka as its new leader.

Sitiveni Rabuka has won a close election in Fiji and is set to become the South Pacific nation’s first new leader in 16 years. Rabuka’s victory came after the three political parties announced late on Tuesday that they would form a coalition.

Rabuka’s victory ends the long reign of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who seized power in a 2006 military coup and then introduced a new constitution and recast himself as a democratic leader after winning re-election in 2014 and 2018.

Rabuka is also a former rebel leader. He led Fiji’s first military takeover in 1987 and was later elected prime minister for seven years in 1990.

After last week’s election, Bainimarama and Rabuka got 26/26 seats. The smaller Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa) held the remaining three seats and the balance of power and decided to go with Rabuka in a close vote late on Tuesday.

Rabuka’s People’s Alliance Party won 21 seats and the affiliated National Federation Party won five seats, and Bainimarama’s Fiji First Party won 26 seats.

SODELPA said indigenous affairs and education were their top priorities in the talks, although they did not immediately announce what concessions they were able to extract from Rabuka.

“We hope that the government will bring about the changes that people have been calling for the past few years,” Sitiveni Rabuka told. “It’s going to be a difficult task. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s never been easy to try and remove the current government. We’ve done that collectively.”

In the days after the election, Rabuka said he had no confidence in the integrity of election officials after the votes against him appeared to be skewed and the app was used by people to track the vote count. Nationwide Petition.

But on Tuesday night, he said that even though his party initially faced some difficulties with election officials, he now wanted to thank them.

Fiji is known as a foreign tourist paradise full of pristine beaches and friendly, laid-back people.

However, the past few years have proved difficult for many in the country of less than 1 million, as tourism evaporated and the economy collapsed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The World Bank estimates that the country’s poverty rate is around 24 per cent.

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