On 14 December, in Fiji – an island state located in the Pacific Ocean, north-east of Australia – there was a vote to elect the new parliament, which then elected the prime minister. The party FijiFirstwhose leader Frank Bainimarama has led the country without interruption since 2007, after coming to power in a coup, he won but with a narrow majority: thus, an alliance of parties that have been in opposition for the last sixteen years managed to elect Sitiveni “Rambo” Rabuka, leader of the party, as the new prime minister People’s Alliance.
During his sixteen years of government, Bainimarama was not considered a real autocrat, but he was much criticized for having often resorted to the legal system to silence critics, limit press freedom and weaken the opposition.
Rabuka himself is not a new name in Fijian politics: in 1987 he instigated two military coups to depose the reigning monarchy and establish a republic. In 1992 he was democratically elected prime minister of the country and remained in office until 1999. Since then he has held various political positions.