First democratic election since 2006 today
Fiji is holding elections today for the first time since a military coup d’état toppled the government of the day in 2006. The junta run by Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who is now the prime minister, delayed on a number of occasions but, after major revisions to the election rules, has allowed the election to go ahead.
The election will be conducted using an ‘open-list’ party-list proportional representation system, with one nationwide constituency consisting of 50 seats.
There will be 248 candidates standing from seven political parties plus two independents:
• Fiji Labour Party (FLP)
• National Federation Party (NFP)
• Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA)
• People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
• Fiji United Freedom Party (FUFP)
• One Fiji Party (OFP)
The 1,987 polling stations will be open from 7.30 p.m. until 6 p.m. local time for approximately 590,000 voters. Around 49,505 voters voted in pre-poll votes between 3rd September and today.
Now Rear-Admiral Frank Bainimarama and his FijiFirst party is expected to win the largest number of seats. The most recent opinion polls gave them around 45% of the vote. The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and its leader Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa was second with 21% of the vote.
Results should be known within 24 hours of the close of the poll.