19 Dec 2022

The results are in - Fiji to get a coalition government

12:58 am on 19 December 2022
Frank Bainimarama, left, and Sitiveni Rabuka

Frank Bainimarama, left, and Sitiveni Rabuka Photo: AFP / RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

The final results of the 2022 Fiji election are in.

The make-up of the new 55 seat parliament - according to the Fiji Elections Office results app - will be Fiji First with 26 seats, the People's Alliance Party with 21 seats, the National Federation Party with five seats and the Social Democratic Liberal Party with three seats.

In order to be able to form government 28 seats are needed.

This means that for the first time since the return of democracy to Fiji in 2014, Frank Bainimarama's dominant Fiji First Party has failed to secure the majority of seats to rule in parliament.

Bainimarama will now need to woo at least one of the three opposition party leaders to join him if he is to remain in power.

The People's Alliance Party - led by Sitiveni Rabuka - and the National Federation Party - led by Biman Prasad - formed a pre-election coalition and are unlikely targets for the Fiji First leader.

But Sodelpa, led by Viliame Gavoka, made no such pre-election promises.

Gavoka also has close family ties to Bainimarama's right-hand man and attorney general Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum.

There is also bad blood between Sodelpa and Rabuka, who broke away from the party to form his current People's Alliance Party, after having led Sodelpa through the last election in 2018.

Reports of coalition being formed

There are reports from Fiji that a coalition is taking shape following the announcement of the official results.

Sources close to opposition political parties have confirmed to RNZ Pacific that the People's Alliance Party, led by Frank Bainimarama's main rival Sitiveni Rabuka, the National Federation Party and Social Democratic Liberal Party are in the process of forming a coalition.

While Bainimarama's FijiFirst secured the most votes, over 200,000, he failed to win an outright majority.

With the People's Alliance Party and the National Federation Party having formed a pre-election coalition agreement this has made the main opposition party in the previous two parliamentary terms, the Social Democratic Liberal Party or Sodelpa, king makers.

Speaking after a church service in Suva the People's Alliance Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka told media no deal has been made yet but talks are ongoing.

Supervisor of elections Mohammed Saneem said the official election results will be handed over to the electoral commission later this afternoon.

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