Leader of the Opposition (Fiji)

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Leader of the Opposition of the
Republic of Fiji
Coat of arms of Fiji.svg
Coat of arms of
the Republic of Fiji
Sitiveni Rabuka July 2016.jpg
Incumbent
Sitiveni Rabuka

since 26 November 2018
Term lengthWhile leader of the largest opposition political party not in government
Inaugural holderSidiq Koya
Formation10 October 1970
Coat of arms of Fiji.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Fiji

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. Leader Took office Left office Time in office Party Election Prime Minister
1
Sidiq Koya
Koya, SidiqSidiq Koya
(1924–1993)
197019776–7 yearsNFP1972
1977 (Mar)
Kamisese Mara
2
Jai Ram Reddy
Reddy, Jai RamJai Ram Reddy
(born 1937)
197719846–7 yearsNFP1977 (Sep)
1982
Kamisese Mara
(1)
Sidiq Koya
Koya, SidiqSidiq Koya
(1924–1993)
198419872–3 yearsNFPKamisese Mara
3
Harish Sharma
Sharma, HarishHarish Sharma
(born 1932)
198719870 yearsNFPKamisese Mara
4
Kamisese Mara
Mara, KamiseseRatu Sir
Kamisese Mara
(1920–2004)
198719870 yearsAlliance1987Timoci Bavadra
Vacant (1987 – 1992)
(2)
Jai Ram Reddy
Reddy, Jai RamJai Ram Reddy
(born 1937)
199219996–7 yearsNFP1992
1994
Sitiveni Rabuka
5
Inoke Kubuabola
Kubuabola, InokeRatu
Inoke Kubuabola
(born 1948)
199920000–1 yearsSVT1999Mahendra Chaudhry
Tevita Momoedonu
Vacant (2000 – 2001)
6
Prem Singh
Singh, PremPrem Singh200120020–1 yearsNFP2001Laisenia Qarase
7
Mick Beddoes
Beddoes, MickMick Beddoes200220041–2 yearsUPPLaisenia Qarase
8
Mahendra Chaudhry
Chaudhry, MahendraMahendra Chaudhry
(born 1942)
200420061–2 yearsLabourLaisenia Qarase
(7)
Mick Beddoes
Beddoes, MickMick Beddoes3 June 20065 December 2006185 daysUPP2006Laisenia Qarase
Vacant (5 December 2006 – 6 October 2014)
8
Teimumu Kepa
Kepa, TeimumuRo
Teimumu Kepa
(born 1945)
[1][2]
6 October 201420 November 20184 years, 45 daysSODELPA2014Frank Bainimarama
9
Sitiveni Rabuka
Rabuka, SitiveniMajor general (Rtd)
Sitiveni Rabuka
(born 1948)
[3]
26 November 2018Incumbent320 daysSODELPA2018Frank Bainimarama

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]