Fiji election: PM Bainimarama out as opposition reaches coalition deal

Frank Bainimarama walks with two police officers Reuters

Fijian opposition parties have reached the deal to form a new coalition government, finishing Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama’s nearly 16-year rule.

His Fiji First celebration and the rival People’s Alliance, led by Sitiveni Rabuka, had been left in a deadlock following last week’s election.

The particular kingmaking Social Democrat Liberal Party (SODELPA) has now voted 16-14 in favour of backing Mr Rabuka.

“[The people] have voted for change and we have provided them that, inch he said.

Your decision comes after two days of intense courting of the right-wing SODELPA as well as three seats simply by Fiji First and the People’s Alliance. SOPDELA’s leader, Viliame Rgoibulu Gavoka, has required key ministerial articles in any new govt.

The centre-left National Federation Party, which made a pre-election deal with the People’s Alliance, may also be involved in the new government.

The coalition announcement has wider regional significance. Both parties have signalled the desire to cool relations with China, that can be steadily increasing the financial and diplomatic interests in the Pacific.

“I seem like breaking open the ceiling and partying man, ” a supporter of the brand new coalition told AFP from Mr Rabuka’s campaign headquarters after the result of the coalition vote was announced. “It’s been sixteen years of this oppressive government. ”

Mr Bainimarama came to strength in a 2006 coup, one of a series of politics upheavals since Fiji gained independence from your UK in 1970. The rivalry between the indigenous Fijian as well as the ethnic Indian neighborhoods has been at the root of much of the stress.

In 2013 the constitution had been changed to remove a race-based electoral system that favoured native Fijians over the state’s large Indian people.

Mr Bainimarama later won two elections to legitimise his rule. Human rights groups possess for years accused your pet of restricting independence of speech by means of media censorship plus intimidation of his critics.

However , in recent years he has acquired a high international user profile for his advocacy around climate change. The 68-year-old has said he would respect the result of the election but has yet to comment on the conclusion of his premiership.

Meanwhile, Mr Rabuka is a former global rugby player who had been the leader of Fiji’s first coup in 1987, which was taking place as an attempt to recover political rights to Fiji’s native people. He served as prime minister within 1992-99.

Mr Rabuka was questioned simply by police on Friday, following his demands the military in order to intervene over the political election. The poll continues to be marred by scams allegations.