Prime Minister of Fiji

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Prime Minister of the
Republic of Fiji
Coat of arms of Fiji.svg
Coat of arms of
the Republic of Fiji
Flag of Fiji.svg
Frank Bainimarama November 2014.jpg
Frank Bainimarama

since 5 January 2007
Office of the Prime Minister
StyleThe Right Honourable
StatusHead of Government
Member ofCabinet
SeatGovernment Buildings, Suva
AppointerPresident of Fiji
Term length4 years
Inaugural holderKamisese Mara
Formation10 October 1970
SalaryFJ$ 328,750 annually[1]

The prime minister of the Republic of Fiji is the head of government of Fiji. The prime minister is appointed by the president under the terms of the 2013 Constitution of Fiji. He is the head of the cabinet and appoints and dismiss ministers.

Description of the office[edit]

As a former British colony, Fiji has largely adopted British political models and follows the Westminster, or Cabinet, system of government, in which the executive branch of government is responsible to the legislature. The prime minister is appointed by the president, but must be supported, or at least accepted, by a majority in the House of Representatives. If at any time the prime minister loses the "confidence" of the House, he must resign, along with the entire Cabinet. In practice, this usually reduces the prime minister's appointment to a formality, as the parliamentary leader of the majority political party or coalition is invariably appointed. If, however, no such majority party or coalition exists, whether due to electoral fragmentation or to party realignments after an election, the president's role becomes much more important. The president must endeavour to find a candidate acceptable to a majority in the House; if no such candidate can be found, the president must dissolve Parliament and call an election prematurely.

The prime minister of Fiji is technically the "first among equals," whose vote in meetings of the Cabinet carries no greater weight than that of any other minister. In practice, the prime minister dominates the government. Other ministers are appointed by the president, but on the prime minister's advice, and may be dismissed by him at any time (although his control over ministerial appointments may be tempered by the realities of coalition politics: the leader or leaders of coalition partners may insist on having a say in the matter too).

History of the office[edit]

Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara was appointed Fiji's first prime minister on 10 October 1970, when Fiji attained its independence from Britain. Mara previously served as Fiji's first and only chief minister, from 20 September 1967 (while Fiji still was a British colony). Mara's first term as prime minister lasted until 13 April 1987. He returned to the office for the second term on 5 December 1987, serving until 2 June 1992. As of 2014, Mara is the longest-serving prime minister of Fiji.

List of prime ministers of Fiji (1970–present)[edit]

No. Portrait Prime Minister Took office Left office Time in office Party Election Head of State
Prime Ministers of the Dominion of Fiji
Kamisese Mara
Mara, KamiseseRatu Sir
Kamisese Mara
10 October 197013 April 198716 years, 185 daysAlliance1972
1977 (Mar)
1977 (Sep)
Elizabeth II
Timoci Bavadra
Bavadra, TimociTimoci Bavadra
13 April 198714 May 198731 daysLabour1987Elizabeth II
Vacant (14 May 1987 – 5 December 1987)[a]
Prime Ministers of the Republic of Fiji
Kamisese Mara
Mara, KamiseseRatu Sir
Kamisese Mara
5 December 19872 June 19924 years, 180 daysIndependentPenaia Ganilau
Sitiveni Rabuka
Rabuka, SitiveniMajor general (Rtd)
Sitiveni Rabuka
(born 1948)
2 June 199219 May 19996 years, 351 daysSVT1992
Penaia Ganilau
Kamisese Mara
Mahendra Chaudhry
Chaudhry, MahendraMahendra Chaudhry
(born 1942)
19 May 199927 May 20001 year, 8 daysLabour1999Kamisese Mara
Tevita Momoedonu
Momoedonu, TevitaRatu
Tevita Momoedonu
27 May 200027 May 20000 daysLabourKamisese Mara
Vacant (27 May 2000 – 4 July 2000)[a]
Laisenia Qarase
Qarase, LaiseniaLaisenia Qarase
4 July 200014 March 2001253 daysIndependentFrank Bainimarama
Josefa Iloilo
Tevita Momoedonu
Momoedonu, TevitaRatu
Tevita Momoedonu
14 March 200116 March 20012 daysLabourJosefa Iloilo
Laisenia Qarase
Qarase, LaiseniaLaisenia Qarase
16 March 20015 December 20065 years, 264 daysSDL2001
Josefa Iloilo
Jona Senilagakali
Senilagakali, JonaDr.
Jona Senilagakali
5 December 20064 January 200730 daysIndependentFrank Bainimarama
Frank Bainimarama
Bainimarama, FrankCommodore
Frank Bainimarama
(born 1954)
5 January 200722 September 20147 years, 260 daysRFMFJosefa Iloilo
Epeli Nailatikau
Frank Bainimarama
Bainimarama, FrankCommodore (Rtd)
Frank Bainimarama
(born 1954)
22 September 2014Incumbent6 years, 147 daysFijiFirst2014
Epeli Nailatikau
Jioji Konrote

Living former prime ministers[edit]

As of February 2021, there are 2 living former Fijian prime ministers, as seen below.

The most recent former prime minister to die was Ratu Tevita Momoedonu (served 2000, 2001), on 26 November 2020, aged 74.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Two military coups in 1987 and a civilian coup d'état in 2000 left Fiji without a Prime Minister each time.
  2. ^ Mara's party, the Alliance Party, was dissolved in the wake of the 1987 coups, so he was effectively a non-partisan Prime Minister in his last term.
  3. ^ Ratu Momoedonu was appointed Prime Minister on 27 May 2000, by the then-President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, in order to meet a constitutional technicality. He resigned only a few minutes later, as soon as the technicality had been attended to, in order to allow the President to assume full executive power.
  4. ^ Qarase was not a member of a political party when he headed the interim government in 2000 and early 2001. Following his reinstatement on 16 March 2001 (after two days' absence from office), he founded the United Fiji Party to contest the general election that was to be held later that year.
  5. ^ Senilagakali was installed as Interim Prime Minister as Commodore Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama took control of the Government. He was previously a highly esteemed medical doctor, the former President of the Fijian Medical Association, and was military doctor at the time of the coup d'état in 2006.[2]
  6. ^ The Bainimarama government was dismissed as illegal by Fiji's Court of Appeal on 10 April 2009, leading to the Prime Minister's immediate resignation. He was re-appointed the next day by President Josefa Iloilo, following the latter's abrogation of the Constitution.[3][4]


  1. ^ Government of Fiji Gazette (3 October 2014). "PARLIAMENTARY REMUNERATIONS DECREE 2014 (DECREE NO. 29 OF 2014)" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Military now in charge in Fiji". Fiji Times. 5 December 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  3. ^ "Fiji's Bainimarama steps down as PM", Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 10 April 2009
  4. ^ "Commodore Bainimarama sworn in as Prime Minister" Archived 15 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Fiji government, 11 April 2009
  5. ^ "Ratu Tevita passes away". The Fiji Times. 28 November 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2020.