20 Nov 2018

Fiji's election winner blames rain for drop in support

10:49 am on 20 November 2018

Fiji's re-elected Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has blamed the torrential rain on election day for his significant drop in support.

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Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

The leader of the 2006 coup received almost 168,000 individual votes, compared to over 200,000 at the last election in 2014.

His FijiFirst party gained 50.02 percent of the vote in this election, in which 26 polling booths were washed out by the rain.

About 8000 voters, however, had another chance to vote on Saturday.

The overall voter turnout was 72 percent, down from 84 percent in 2014.

Mr Bainimarama, who was in Auckland over the weekend for his brother's funeral, said he still had a strong mandate.

"My party has won the confidence of the people of Fiji," Mr Bainimarama said.

"There were a lot of people who didn't turn up to vote because of the weather so I can understand that."

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