Fijians vote in general elections
According to the Fijian Elections Office (FEO), voting is underway at 855 polling stations across the country with 343 candidates in the fray from nine political parties
Suva: Fijians went to the polls on Wednesday to elect 55 members of Parliament.
According to the Fijian Elections Office (FEO), voting is underway at 855 polling stations across the country with 343 candidates in the fray from nine political parties, including the ruling FijiFirst party and two independents, vying for a seat in Parliament, reports Xinhua news agency.
These polls pit Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 2006, against longtime rival Sitiveni Rabuka, a former military commander who himself led two power grabs in the late 1980s.
A total of 693,915 eligible voters have been registered for this year’s general elections, with 9,916 having applied for postal ballot.
A total of 77,907 Fijians were registered to vote for pre-polling last week.
However, only 54,244 Fijians cast their votes.
Polling is scheduled to end at 6 p.m.
A multinational observer group led by Australia, India and Indonesia will see about 90 election observers monitor polling booths and the national vote-counting centre.
The FEO anticipates the final results of the general elections to be announced by Sunday.
Fiji, an island nation with a population of around 900,000, held its last general elections in 2018.
According to analysts, Bainimarama and his FijiFirst party are facing their “toughest election yet”, with voters increasingly concerned about the rising costs of living.
Inflation is hovering at 5 per cent in Fiji, a tourism-reliant nation that has also been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.