Fiji’s second election since a 2006 military takeover — pitting one coup leader against another — passed off peacefully Wednesday, although heavy rain dampened voter turnout in the Pacific island nation.
The ballot saw Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, the former military chief who led a bloodless takeover of the government 12 years ago, face off against another coup leader, Sitiveni Rabuka of the SODELPA Party.
Bainimarama’s FijiFirst Party went into the election heavy favourites, polling 68 percent, but early results indicated the contest was tighter than predicted.
FijiFirst had 50.37 percent of the vote with 387 of 2,170 polling stations counted, ahead of SODELPA on 40.19 percent.
An election winner is unlikely to be known for four or five days as votes trickle in from polling stations on the archipelago’s more remote islands. Read more