2018 Fijian general election

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2018 Fijian general election

← 2014 14 November 2018 2022 →

All 51 seats in the Parliament of Fiji
26 seats needed for a majority
Registered637,537
Turnout458,570 (72%) Decrease12.6%
  First party Second party Third party
  Frank Bainimarama November 2014.jpg Biman Prasad January 2015.jpg
Leader Frank Bainimarama Sitiveni Rabuka Biman Prasad
Party FijiFirst SODELPA NFP
Leader since Nov 2014 24 June 2016 March 2014
Last election 59.17%, 32 seats 28.18%, 15 seats 5.46%, 3 seats
Seats after 27 21 3
Seat change Decrease 5 Increase 6 Steady
Popular vote 227,241 181,072 33,515
Percentage 50.02% 39.85% 7.38%

Prime Minister before election

Frank Bainimarama
FijiFirst

Subsequent Prime Minister

Frank Bainimarama
FijiFirst

Coat of arms of Fiji.svg
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General elections were held in Fiji on 14 November 2018.[1] The result was a victory for the ruling FijiFirst party of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, which received just over 50% of the vote and 27 of the 51 seats in Parliament, a loss of five seats.[2] The main opposition party, Social Democratic Liberal Party, gained six seats, whilst the National Federation Party retained its three seats.

The elections also saw female representation in Parliament rise to 20 percent, with 10 women elected.[3]

Background and campaign[edit]

On 30 September Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced that the elections would be held on 14 November 2018. President Jioji Konrote subsequently dissolved parliament in accordance with section 58(3) of the constitution, on the advice of the Prime Minister.

234 candidates representing six political parties contested in the elections. 56 of the candidates were women.[4] Candidate numbers for the ballot paper were drawn on 18 October.[5]

During a campaign rally, FijiFirst leader Frank Bainimarama stated that he wanted to win all 51 parliamentary seats and govern without an opposition, arguing that the two main opposition parties represented i-Taukei and Indo-Fijian interests rather than all Fijians.[6] The SODELPA party promised to restore the Great Council of Chiefs within a hundred days if elected, and to consider changing the electoral system to restore communal constituencies.[7] They later explicitly promised to restore the 1997 constitution.[8]

During the election campaign SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka was tried and acquitted on charges of falsely declaring his assets and liabilities to the Supervisor of Elections.[9] An appeal by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption,[10] which could have resulted in Rabuka's disqualification two days from the poll, was dismissed, with FICAC ordered to pay costs.[11] Shortly before the appeal was decided Rabuka was again called in by police on unspecified charges.[12]

On election day, voting was suspended at 26 polling stations due to torrential rain and flooding.[13] Ballots cast at those stations were shredded. Polling recommenced with fresh ballot papers on Saturday 17 November.

Electoral system[edit]

The 51 members of Parliament were elected from a single nationwide constituency by open list proportional representation with an electoral threshold of 5%. Seats are allocated using the d'Hondt method.[14][15]

Schedule[edit]

Key dates relating to the general election were as follows:

30 September (Sunday) Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announces elections to be held on 14 November 2018.
30 September (Sunday) President Jioji Konrote dissolves parliament in accordance with section 58(3) of the constitution, on the advice of the Prime Minister.
1 October (Monday) President Jioji Konrote issues the writ of election
1 October (Monday) Registration of voters ends at 6 p.m.
2 October (Tuesday) Candidate nominations open at 8 a.m.
15 October (Monday) Candidate nominations close at 12 p.m.
24 October (Wednesday) Postal voting applications close at 5 p.m.
5 November (Monday) Pre-poll voting begins
10 November (Saturday) Pre-poll voting ends
12 November (Monday) Media blackout on campaigning commences at 12.00 a.m. for 48 hours
14 November (Wednesday) Election Day – polling places open from 7.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
14 November (Wednesday) Election Night – provisional results will be progressively released from 6 p.m.
18 November (Sunday) Official results declared
18 November (Sunday) President Jioji Konrote receives the Writ of Election from the Electoral Commission.

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
FijiFirst 227,241 50.02 27 –5
Social Democratic Liberal Party 181,072 39.85 21 +6
National Federation Party 33,515 7.38 3 0
Unity Fiji Party 6,896 1.52 0 New
HOPE 2,811 0.62 0 New
Fiji Labour Party 2,800 0.62 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 4,179
Total 458,335 100 51 +1
Registered voters/turnout 637,527 71.27
Source: Fiji Village

Elected MPs[edit]

FijiFirst[16] SODELPA[17] NFP[18]
Frank Bainimarama
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum
Alipate Nagata
Parveen Bala
Vijay Nath
Mahendra Reddy
Premila Kumar
Joseph Nand
Viam Pillay
Inia Seruiratu
Mereseini Vuniwaqa
Sanjay Kirpal
Osea Naiqamu
Alvikh Maharaj
George Vegnathan
Semi Koroilavesau
Jone Usamate
Rohit Sharma
Ashneel Sudhakar
Ifereimi Waqainabete
Selai Adimaitoga
Rosy Akbar
Jale Sigarara
Vijendra Prakash
Veena Bhatnagar
Alexander O’Connor
Salik Ram Govind
Sitiveni Rabuka
Lynda Tabuya
Teimumu Kepa
Mosese Bulitavu
Niko Nawaikula
Atonio Lalabalavu
Anare Jale
Peceli Vosanibola
Viliame Gavoka
Jese Saukuru
Simione Rasova
Ratu Suliano Matanitobua
Mitieli Bulanauca
Ro Filipe Tuisawau
Inosi Kuridrani
Mikaele Leawere
Aseri Radrodro
Salote Radrodro
Adi Litia Qionibaravi
Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu
Tevita Navurelevu
Biman Prasad
Pio Tikoduadua
Lenora Qereqeretabua

Aftermath[edit]

The ruling FijiFirst Party lost 5 seats, but retained a majority in Parliament. FijiFirst leader Frank Bainimarama blamed poor weather for the loss of votes.[19] Bainimarama was sworn in as Prime Minister on 20 November, and is expected to appoint a cabinet later in the week.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FEO Launches 2018 General Elections Publication Handbook Fiji Sun, 19 January 2018
  2. ^ Fiji election: Bainimarama returned as PM in slim victory The Guardian, 18 November 2018
  3. ^ More women, bigger opposition in Fiji parliament Radio New Zealand, 19 November 2018
  4. ^ "Six political parties to contest Fijian elections". RNZ. 16 October 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Candidate numbers drawn". FBC. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Bainimarama hits out at opposition". RNZI. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs restored in 100 days under SODELPA - Rabuka". RNZI. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  8. ^ Vilimaina Naqelevuki (6 November 2018). "2018 General Election: SODELPA to bring back 1997 Constitution if it wins". Fiji Times. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Campaign continues after Rabuka found not guilty". RNZI. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Fiji CJ to rule on FICAC appeal two days before election". RNZI. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Appeal against Rabuka dismissed by Chief Justice". RNZI. 12 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Fiji's Rabuka not worried about latest police summons". RNZI. 10 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Voting suspended at 26 polling stations in Fiji due to weather". RNZ. 14 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  14. ^ Electoral system IPU
  15. ^ Electoral system for national legislature – Fiji IDEA
  16. ^ Talebula Kate (18 November 2018). "2018 General Election: FijiFirst secures 27 seats to form government". Fiji Times. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  17. ^ Talebula Kate (18 November 2018). "2018 General Election: SODELPA secures 21 seats". Fiji Times. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  18. ^ Talebula Kate (18 November 2018). "2018 General Election: NFP trio to join Opposition". Fiji Times. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Fiji's election winner blames rain for drop in support". RNZI. 20 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Frank Bainimarama sworn in as Fiji PM". RNZI. 20 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.