It’s official. FijiFirst has narrowly won the 2018 general election in Fiji, raking in 227,241 votes (50.02 percent) from 2173 stations counted and securing a second four-year term in office.
FijiFirst dominated the polls in the later counting ahead of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) in an earlier tight contest. SODELPA finished in second place with 181,072 votes (39.85 percent).
The National Federation Party (NFP) finished in third place with 33,515 (7.38 percent) followed by Unity Fiji with 6,896, Humanity Opportunity Prosperity Equality with 2,811 votes and Fiji Labour Party (FLP) with 2,800 votes.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, FijiFirst leader, finished off on a strong footing after an early scare in the challenge from the original 1987 coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka’s SODELPA, raking in 167,732 votes in the results by candidate tally to have the highest personal vote.
“I’m proud to become your prime minister once again,” Bainimarama told FBC News from Auckland where he has been attending his brother’s funeral.
Ratu Sevanaia Laua Bainimarama, a jazz musician living in the Bay of Islands, died in the early hours of Tuesday morning – the day before the general election. Ratu Sevanaia was aged 61.
SODELPA’s Rabuka came in second with 77,040 votes followed by Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with 17,271 votes.
National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad finished off with 12,137 votes, followed by the leading woman candidate Lynda Tabuya with 8,795 votes.
Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem announced the results at the National Results Centre yesterday afternoon after the final results were released on the Fiji Elections Office (FEO) results app.
Official results handover
The official elections results were then handed over to Electoral Commission Chairman Suresh Chandra.
“After receiving the results of the 2018 general election, the Electoral Commission will now retire and calculate the seat allocation for the 51 seats for the next term of Parliament,” Chandra said.
Wansolwara News reports the Electoral Commission later announced the allocation of the 51 seats in Parliament.
As anticipated, 27 seats will be taken up by the ruling FijiFirst Party, 21 seats to the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and three seats to the National Federation Party (NFP).
Dr David Robie is director of the Pacific Media Centre and editor of Asia Pacific Report.