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Fiji Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of the Fiji Islands
    conventional short form: Fiji

    Data code: FJ

    Government type: republic
    note: military coup leader Maj. Gen. Sitiveni RABUKA formally declared Fiji a republic on 6 October 1987

    Capital: Suva

    Administrative divisions: 4 divisions and 1 dependency*; Central, Eastern, Northern, Rotuma*, Western

    Independence: 10 October 1970 (from UK)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 10 October (1970)

    Constitution: 10 October 1970 (suspended 1 October 1987); a new constitution was proposed on 23 September 1988 and promulgated on 25 July 1990; amended 25 July 1997 to allow non-ethnic Fijians greater say in government and to make multi-party government mandatory; entered into force 28 July 1998; note— the May 1999 election will be the first test of the amended constitution and will introduce open voting—not racially prescribed—for the first time at the national level

    Legal system: based on British system

    Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Ratu Sir Kamisese MARA (acting president since 15 December 1993, president since 12 January 1994); Vice President Ratu Josefa Iloilo ULUIVUDA (since 18 January 1999)
    head of government: Prime Minister Sitiveni RABUKA (since 2 June 1992); Deputy Prime Minister Taufa VAKATALE (since 7 August 1997)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among the members of Parliament and is responsible to Parliament
    note: there is also a Presidential Council that advises the president on matters of national importance and a Great Council of Chiefs which consists of the highest ranking members of the traditional chiefly system
    elections: president elected by the Great Council of Chiefs for a five-year term; prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Ratu Sir Kamisese MARA elected president; percent of Great Council of Chiefs vote—NA

    Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (34 seats; 24 reserved for ethnic Fijians, 9 for Indians and others, and 1 for the island of Rotuma; members appointed by the president to serve five-year terms) and the House of Representatives (70 seats; 37 reserved for ethnic Fijians, 27 reserved for ethnic Indians, and 6 for independents and others; members elected by popular vote on a communal basis to serve five-year terms)
    elections: House of Representatives—last held 18-25 February 1994 (next to be held 11 May 1999)
    election results: House of Representatives—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—SVT 31, NFP 20, FLP 7, FAP 5, GVP 4, independents 2, ANC 1; note—results are for the last election before the new constitution came into force
    note: when the new constitution is applied to the upcoming May elections, the composition of the legislative branch will change to the following: Senate—32 seats (14 appointed by the Great Council of Chiefs, nine appointed by the prime minister, eight appointed by the leader of the opposition, and one appointed by the council of Rotuma) and House of Representatives—71 seats (23 reserved for ethnic Fijians, 19 reserved for ethnic Indians, three reserved for other ethnic groups, one reserved for the Rotuman constituency encompassing the whole of Fiji, and 25 open seats)

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president

    Political parties and leaders: Fijian Political Party or SVT (primarily Fijian) [leader Maj. Gen. Sitivini RABUKA]; National Federation Party or NFP (primarily Indian) [Jai Ram REDDY]; Fijian Nationalist Party or FNP [Sakeasi BUTADROKA]; Fiji Labor Party or FLP [Mahendra CHAUDHRY]; General Voters Party or GVP [Leo SMITH]; Fiji Conservative Party or FCP [leader NA]; Conservative Party of Fiji or CPF [leader NA]; Fiji Indian Liberal Party [leader NA]; Fiji Indian Congress Party [leader NA]; Fiji Independent Labor (Muslim) [leader NA]; Four Corners Party [leader NA]; Fijian Association Party or FAP [Adi Kuini SPEED]; General Electors' Association [David PICKERING]; National Unity Party [Apisai TORA]; Veitokani ni Lewenivanua Vakarisito Party or VLV or Christian Fellowship Party (primarily Methodist Fijian) [leader NA]
    note: in early 1995, ethnic Fijian members of the All National Congress or ANC merged with the Fijian Association or FA; the remaining members of the ANC have renamed their party the General Electors' Association

    International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, OPCW, PCA, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador "Ratu" Napolioni MASIREWA
    chancery: Suite 240, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 337-8320
    FAX: [1] (202) 337-1996
    consulate(s): New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Larry M. DINGER
    embassy: 31 Loftus Street, Suva
    mailing address: P. O. Box 218, Suva
    telephone: [679] 314466
    FAX: [679] 300081

    Flag description: light blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Fijian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield depicts a yellow lion above a white field quartered by the cross of Saint George featuring stalks of sugarcane, a palm tree, bananas, and a white dove

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)