Fiji News & Current Events
Dr. Senilagakali Is Installed As Prime Minister in Fiji's Fourth Coup
In December 2006, Fiji's military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, announced he had assumed executive power, deposed Prime Minister Qarase, and appointed Jona Senilagakali, a medical doctor, as interim prime minister. It was the country's fourth coup since 1987. Tensions had built up over several years between the military and Qarase over a corruption scandal and issues regarding the 2000 coup—the military accused the prime minister of excessive leniency toward those who had orchestrated that coup.
In Jan. 2007, Bainimarama reinstated Josefa Iloilo as president. Senilagakali resigned as interim prime minister, and Bainimarama succeeded him.
Bainimarama and the military grabbed more power in April of 2009. Reacting to a ruling by Fiji's Court of Appeal, which stated that the military government was illegally appointed after the 2006 coup and that democratic elections should be held as soon as possible, Bainimarama refused to step down and instead increased censorship of Fiji's media, expelled foreign journalists, and announced that elections would not be held until 2014. President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, believed to be a puppet of Bainimarama, announced that he had repealed the Constitution. Iloilo retired in July and was replaced by Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
In Sept. 2009, the Commonwealth of Nations, an association of Great Britain and its dependencies and former dependencies, suspended Fiji, saying the country had failed to make progress toward returning to a democracy.
A general election was held on Sept. 17, 2014. Bainimarama's newly formed Fiji First party won, receiving 59.2% of the vote. Five days later he was sworn in as the democratically-elected prime minister by President Nailatikau.
The following year in Oct. 2015, Parliament elected Jioji Konrote president. Konrote beat incumbent Ratu Epeli Ganilau by a 31-14 vote. Konrote took office on Nov. 12, 2015.