Fiji. According to Countryaah.com, Fiji population in 2020 is estimated at 896,456. Eight years after Commander Voreqe (“Frank”) Bainimarama’s coup in 2006, democratic elections were held in Fiji. In March, Bainimarama left his post as army chief with the intention of running as a civilian politician in September’s elections. In March, Bainimarama also announced that his newly founded party was given the name Fiji first.
In April, it was clear that former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudry, representing Fiji’s Workers’ Party (FLP), would not be allowed to stand in the election. This after he was sentenced in the Supreme Court for not declaring the 1.5 million Fijian dollars he had deposited in Australia. According to Fijian law, anyone who has been convicted of a crime that can give more than a year’s imprisonment in the last eight years cannot be held in parliamentary elections. However, Chaudry was sentenced not to jail but to 2 million Fijian dollars in fines.
A total of seven parties took part in the elections held in September. Of these, only three received enough votes to take their seats in Parliament. Fiji first received 59% of the vote and its own majority by virtue of 32 of the 50 seats. Equally clear second was the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), which received 28% of the vote and 15 seats. The remaining three seats went to the National Federation Party (NFP). Bainimarama could thus remain as prime minister, a post he held since forming a transitional government in January 2007.
The election also meant that Fiji was again welcomed as a full member of the Commonwealth and the regional cooperation organization Forum for the Pacific Islands (PIF). New Zealand, Australia and the United States lifted their sanctions against the country as a result of the election.
In August, 45 Fijian UN soldiers were taken on assignment in Syria to capture the rebel movement Jabhat an-Nusra. The soldiers were released again after two weeks.