Timoci Bavadra

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The Right Honourable
Timoci Bavadra
MP
Prime Minister of Fiji
In office
13 April 1987 – 14 May 1987
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Penaia Ganilau
Preceded by Kamisese Mara
Succeeded by Vacant
Personal details
Born 22 September 1934
Lautoka, Fiji
Died 3 November 1989
Lautoka, Fiji
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Kuini Speed

Timoci Uluivuda Bavadra (September 22, 1934 - November 3, 1989) was a medical doctor who served for one month as the second Prime Minister of Fiji in 1987 and who founded the Fiji Labour Party.

Contesting his first election in 1987, Bavadra forged an electoral coalition between his Labour Party and the much older, Indo-Fijian-dominated National Federation Party. Although much larger, the NFP agreed to play a junior role in the coalition, aware that much of the ethnic Fijian community was not ready to accept an Indo-Fijian Prime Minister; even a government with a significant Indo-Fijian presence was itself bound to stretch the patience of ethnic Fijians.

The election was a stunning upset. The Labour-NFP coalition captured 28 seats, four more than the Alliance Party, thereby ending the twenty-year reign of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, who, first as Chief Minister and subsequently as Prime Minister, had led Fiji since its pre-independence years. Although an ethnic Fijian, Bavadra had been elected mostly with the support of Indo-Fijians. Of the 28 members of his parliamentary caucus, only seven were ethnic Fijians, all of them elected from predominantly Indo-Fijian constituencies, a factor which caused considerable resentment among extremist sections of the Fijian population. Only nine percent of the ethnic Fijian electorate had voted for Bavadra's coalition, but even this was an unprecedented feat - a point that was largely overlooked.

Bavadra was opposed to nuclear testing, and had hinted that visits by nuclear-armed warships of the United States Navy might not be welcome. Allegations have been made that the United States either supported or allowed Lieutenant-Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka to stage the coup on 13 May that brought down Bavadra's government, allegations that Rabuka has never convincingly denied.[citation needed] Unable to reverse the coup, Governor-General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau formally dismissed Bavadra on 19 May. After period of negotiations, another coup, and a period of military rule, Ratu Mara again took office as Prime Minister on 5 December. Bavadra made a tour of Commonwealth capitals, attempting to rally support, but got little more than sympathy, and Queen Elizabeth, who had by this time formally abdicated as Queen of Fiji, declined to receive him. He died two years later of cancer.

Preceded by
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
Prime Minister of Fiji
1987
Succeeded by
Vacant