Fiji

On 6 December 2006, the democratically elected Government of Fiji was replaced following a military takeover. Shortly thereafter, the Parliament of Fiji was suspended. At the time, the Parliament of Fiji comprised two houses – the 71-member, elected House of Representatives and the 32 member, appointed Senate. The 2006 Parliament had 8 women elected to the House of Representatives and 5 women appointed to the Senate.

In September 2013, the President of Fiji assented to the country’s new constitution. The role and powers of the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji is outlined in Chapter 3 of the 2013 Constitution of the Republic of Fiji, most notably a change in the parliamentary system from a previously Bi-cameral legislature with 103 members (71 members in the House of Representatives and 32 in the House of Senate) to a Uni-cameral legislature of 50 members. In March 2017, the number of seats in Parliament was increased to 51, based on updated population data and registered voter figures.

From the 2017 official census carried out  by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, the country’s population totalled 884,887.

The Government of Fiji held its general elections on Wednesday 17th September 2014 where Members of Parliament were elected through an Open List proportional representation voting system, with one national constituency. Political parties and Independent candidates must now reach a minimum of 5% national threshold to be eligible for a seat in Parliament. The Fiji Electoral Decree (2012) governs the registration of Voters, and the Political Parties decree (2013) outlines the registration, conduct, funding, and disclosures of political parties in Fiji. 7 Political Parties fulfilled the requirements under the Political Parties decree to register and contest the 2014 general elections as well as two independent candidates (one of whom was female). A commendable number of 44 female candidates (17.7%) out of the total number of 248 candidates stood in the 2014 general elections. 

Under the 2013 Constitution, the voting age was reduced to 18 years. Following the official announcement of the Fiji election results on 21st September 2014, the FijiFirst political party pooled 59.2% of votes cast, securing 32 seats in Parliament. The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) received 28.2% of votes cast, securing 15 seats, whilst the National Federation party received 5.5% of votes cast, securing them 3 seats in Parliament. 500, 078 cast their vote in the 2014 elections (85% voter turn out)

As of October 1st 2018, the Fiji Elections office registered a total of 637,527[1] voters (316,431 are males, 321,096 females). The writ for 2018 elections was issued on the 1st of October 2018. Following this the last day for the receipt of a nomination of a candidate for election to Parliament is the 15th of October 2018. Polling must then commence no later than 30 days after the last day for the receipt of nominations, which is the 14th of November 2018. 

Key dates in lead up to elections are as follows:

  • October 2, 2018, the candidate nominations open at 8am
  • October 15, 2018, the candidate nominations close at 12pm
  • October 16, 2018, candidate nominations withdrawals by 12pm
  • October 16, 2018, candidate nominations objections and appeals close by 4pm
  • October 19, 2018, National candidate ball draw or earlier as determined by the Fijian Elections Office
  • October 24, 2018, postal voting applications close by 5pm
  • November 5, 2018, pre-poll voting begins
  • November 10, 2018, pre-poll voting ends
  • November 12, 2018, media blackout on campaigning commences at 7.30am
  • November 14, 2018, is the Election Day and voting will be from 7.30am to 6pm and in the night the provisional results will be progressively released from 6pm

According to the Fiji Elections Office website, as of 03 July 2018, eight (8) registered political parties are registered in Fiji, and set to contest the 2018 elections. The 8 Political parties are:

  1. Fiji Labour Party (FLP)
  2. National Federation Party (NFP)
  3. Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA)
  4. People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
  5. FijiFirst
  6. Freedom Alliance
  7. Unity Fiji
  8. Humanity Opportunity Prosperity, Equality (HOPE) 

Five of the eight political parties have released their provisional list of candidates. On 10th October 2018, the Fiji labour Party and the Freedom Alliance Party signed a partnership agreement, enabling the Freedom Alliance Party provisional candidates to stand under the Fiji Labour Party banner for the November 14th 2018 elections.

  • SODELPA announced it’s provisional list of 43 candidates on 02nd September 2018, out of which 7 are women candidates.
  • NFP announced its provisional list of 51 candidates on 07th October 2018, out of which 10 are women candidates.
  • Unity Fiji announced its list of 14 provisional candidates on May 11th 2018 that included 2 women candidates. The party is expected to name up to 36 candidates by 15th october 2018.
  • Fiji Labour Party announced its list of 19 provisional candidates on 4th May 2018 which included 5 women candidates.
  • FijiFirst announced its 51 provisional candidates on 19 September, which included 11 women

Political Party

Number of candidates

Number of women candidates

% of women candidates

SODELPA

43

7

16%

National Federation Party

51

10

20%

Unity Fiji

14

2

14%

Fiji Labour Party

19

5

26%

FijiFirst

51

11

22%

TOTALS

178

35

20%


[1] Figure submitted by Fiji Elections office on 1 October 2018

Hon. Dr. Mere Tuisalalo Samisoni

Party: Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA)

Electorate: Fiji

Province: N/A

Political Status: Member of the Opposition

Hon. Jilila Nalibu Kumar

Party: FijiFirst

Electorate: Fiji

Province: N/A

Political Status: Government Backbencher

Hon. Lorna Eden

Party: FijiFirst

Electorate: Fiji

Province: N/A

Political Status: Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment

Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa

Party: FijiFirst

Electorate: Fiji

Province: N/A

Political Status: Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation

Hon. Ro Teimumu Vuikaba Kepa

Party: Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA)

Electorate: Fiji

Province: N/A

Political Status: Leader of the Opposition

Hon. Rosy Sofia Akbar

Party: FijiFirst

Electorate: Fiji

Province: N/A

Political Status: Minister for Health and Medical Services

Hon. Salote Vuibureta Radrodro

Party: Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA)

Electorate: Fiji

Province: N/A

Political Status: Member of the Opposition

Hon. Veena Kumar Bhatnagar

Party: FijiFirst

Electorate: Fiji

Province: N/A

Political Status: Assistant Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation

No Women MPs