Leader of the Opposition (Fiji)

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Leader of the Opposition
Logo of the largest opposition party
Teimumu Kepa.jpg
Teimumu Kepa[1]

since 6 October 2014
Term length While leader of the largest political party not in government
Coat of arms of Fiji.svg
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The post of Leader of the Opposition is a political office common in countries that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations. It did not originate in Fiji but has a long tradition; in British constitutional theory, the Leader of the Opposition must pose a formal alternative to the government, ready to form a government himself should the Prime Minister lose the confidence of the Parliament.

Description of the office[edit]

The Leader of the Opposition is chosen by a vote of all members of Parliament who declare that they do not support the government. But before the adoption of the 2013 Constitution, the Leader of the Opposition was formally appointed by the President. The appointment was not at the president's personal discretion, however, as he was required by the Constitution to appoint the person most acceptable to the majority of the Opposition (defined as members of the House of Representatives who belong to political parties not represented in the Cabinet). In theory, that meant the parliamentary leader of the largest Opposition party. In practice, the person most eligible could decline the office, as was the case between 2001 and 2004, when Mahendra Chaudhry, whose Labour Party held 28 of the 30 Opposition seats in the House of Representatives, adamantly refused to accept the position of Leader of the Opposition, insisting that he and his party wanted representation in the Cabinet instead. Until he reversed his position late in 2004 (following the collapse of negotiations with Prime Minister Qarase), this forced the President to appoint Mick Beddoes, the sole parliamentary representative of the United General Party, as Leader of the Opposition.

Under the 1997 Constitution, the Leader of the Opposition chose 8 of the 32 members of the Senate, Fiji's upper house of Parliament, and had the right to be consulted about the appointment of the Chief Justice.

List of Leaders of the Opposition in Fiji (1970–present)[edit]

No. Portrait Leader
Party Tenure
1 No image.png Sidiq M. Koya
NFP 1970–1977
2 No image.png Jai Ram Reddy
NFP 1977–1984
(1) No image.png Sidiq M. Koya
NFP 1984–1987
3 No image.png Harish Sharma
NFP 1987
4 Kamisese Mara.jpg Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
AP 1987
vacant 1987–1992
(2) No image.png Jai Ram Reddy
NFP 1992–1999
5 Inoke Kubuabola 2012.jpg Ratu Inoke Kubuabola
SVT 1999–2000
vacant 2000–2001
6 No image.png Prem Singh NFP 2001–2002
7 Mick Beddoes 2015.jpg Millis Malcolm (Mick) Beddoes UGP[nb 1] 2002–2004
8 Mahendra Chaudhry 2015.jpg Mahendra Chaudhry
FLP 2004–2006
(7) Mick Beddoes 2015.jpg Millis Malcolm (Mick) Beddoes UPP 2006
vacant 2006–2014
9 Teimumu Kepa.jpg Ro Teimumu Kepa
SODELPA 2014–present[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The United General Party (UGP) was renamed the United People's Party (UPP) in 2004.