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Fiji History
Fiji History - TravelPuppy.com
The 1987 general election brought to power a coalition between the major ethnic Indian party, the National Federation Party, led by Marendra Chaudhry, and the newly formed Labour Party. The new Government had several Indian ministers, which proved too much for many nationalist native Fijians (referred to as Taukei). This was the cause for an army coup d’état, headed by Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka. Colonel Rabuka declared himself head of an interim military Government and introduced a new constitution, under which blocs of seats in a new assembly were allocated to specific ethnic groups, thereby assuring a Taukei majority. Under this format, the 1992 elections brought to power a coalition dominated by the main ethnic Fijian party. Rabuka supposed the premiership.

By the time the revised constitution came into effect in 1998, Fiji’s poor economic performance had damaged the Rabuka Government’s popularity. The Fijian Labour Party then secured an absolute majority in the Vela and an Indian Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, took office. In May 2000, George Speight organised a coup, holding Chaudhry and other ministers as hostages while he issued a succession of demands. The stand off lasted 2 months. After originally conceding to most of the rebel demands (including the dismissal of Chaudhry), the military, led by Commodore Frank Bainanarama, took control at the beginning of July. A few weeks later, the military moved opposing to Speight and his followers, who were arrested. An interim Government under the veteran Taukei politician, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, was installed with Laisenia Qarase as Premier.

Following the elections in August 2001, a coalition Government was formed between the smaller Conservative Alliance Party (Matanitu Vanua) and the Fiji United Party and, despite the fact that most votes were won by the Labour Party, Laisenia Qarase remained as Prime Minister. The islands have since enjoyed reasonable stability, although nothing has been done to address the essential causes of Fiji’s political problems. Qarase closely defeated Chaudhry's Labout Party in the 2006 elections.