2001 Fijian general election

General elections were held in Fiji in August and September 2001. The Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party won 18 of the 23 seats reserved for ethnic Fijians and one of three "general electorates" set aside for Fiji's European, Chinese, and other minorities. It also won 13 of the 25 "open electorates," so-called because they are open to candidates of any race and are elected by universal suffrage. The remaining five ethnic Fijian seats, and one open electorate, were won by the Conservative Alliance, one of whom was George Speight who had led the putsch against the lawful government the year before. Chaudhry's Labour Party won all 19 Indo-Fijian seats and eight open electorates. The New Labour Unity Party, formed by defectors from the FLP, won one general electorate and one open electorate. The three remaining seats (one general electorate, one open electorate, and the Rotuman Islanders' seat) were won by minor parties and independent candidates.

2001 Fijian general election

← 1999 August–September 2001 2006 →
  First party Second party Third party
  Fiji 2004 Mr Qarase (cropped).jpg Mahendra Chaudhry 2015.jpg 3x4.svg
Leader Laisenia Qarase Mahendra Chaudhry Rakuita Vakalalabure
Party SDL Labour CAMV
Last election 37 seats
Seats won 32 27 6
Seat change New Decrease10 New
Communal vote 26.42% 34.46% 10.46%
Communal swing Increase7.51pp Increase3.32pp New
Open vote 25.66% 35.20% 9.36%
Open swing Increase4.81pp Increase1.94pp New

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Tupeni Baba (cropped).jpg
NFP
Mick Beddoes 2015.jpg
Leader Tupeni Baba Attar Singh Mick Beddoes
Party NLUP NFP UPP
Last election 0 seats 2 seats
Seats won 2 1 1
Seat change New Increase1 Decrease1
Communal vote 3.60% 10.11% 1.00%
Communal swing New Decrease4.64pp Decrease0.50pp
Open vote 5.32% 10.09%
Open swing New Decrease4.31pp

Prime Minister of Fiji before election

Mahendra Chaudhry
Labour

Elected Prime Minister of Fiji

Laisenia Qarase
SDL

BackgroundEdit

The Constitution of Fiji was restored by a High Court decision on 15 November 2000, following the failure of the political upheaval in which the government had been deposed and the constitution suspended in May that year. On 1 March 2001, the Appeal Court upheld the decision. An election to restore democracy was held in September 2001. In what was one of Fiji's most bitterly fought elections ever, the newly formed Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua of the interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase narrowly defeated the Fiji Labour Party of deposed former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry.

The FLP had been hurt by leadership bickering in the wake of the coup, and the subsequent defection of a number of its high-profile members from the ethnic Fijian community, including Tupeni Baba, the former Deputy Prime Minister. The mutual refusal of the FLP and the National Federation Party, the only other political party with significant Indo-Fijian support, to reach a preference-swapping deal had also worked against both parties. (In Fiji's system of transferable voting, any two or more candidates in a particular constituency can have their votes combined, unless the electors specify a different option by ranking the candidates numerically in order of their preference).

ResultsEdit

PartyOpen constituenciesCommunal constituenciesTotal
seats
Votes%SeatsVotes%Seats
Fiji Labour Party113,98135.208112,31634.461927
Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua83,09525.661386,13226.421932
National Federation Party32,65810.09132,95910.1101
Conservative Alliance-Matanitu Vanua30,3139.36134,10110.4656
Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei20,5606.35014,5234.4600
New Labour Unity Party17,2305.32111,7353.6012
Bei Kai Viti6,2501.9307,8282.4000
Fijian Association Party4,4301.3703,8501.1800
Party of National Unity1,9370.6004,4811.3700
Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo Party1,4930.4602,3930.7300
Dodonu ni Taukei8430.2601880.0600
Justice and Freedom Party1760.0503260.1000
Party of the Truth350.0102200.0700
United General Party3,2601.0011
General Voters Party1,9040.5800
Lio 'On Famör Rotuma Party1,8030.5500
Christian Democratic Alliance3370.1000
Girmit Heritage Party500.0200
Independents10,8183.3417,5482.3212
Total323,819100.0025325,954100.004671
Valid votes323,81988.09325,95488.13
Invalid/blank votes43,77311.9143,91711.87
Total votes367,592100.00369,871100.00
Registered voters/turnout470,80778.08468,69178.92
Source: Psephos

Communal constituency resultsEdit

Fijian constituenciesEdit

PartyVotes%Seats
Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua83,50650.0918
Conservative Alliance-Matanitu Vanua33,77620.265
Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei14,2718.560
Bei Kai Viti7,8284.700
New Labour Unity Party7,0114.210
Party of National Unity4,4812.690
Fiji Labour Party3,8572.310
Fijian Association Party3,5282.120
Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo Party2,3931.440
National Federation Party8170.490
Christian Democratic Alliance3370.200
Party of the Truth2200.130
Dodonu ni Taukei1880.110
Independents4,5042.700
Total166,717100.0023
Valid votes166,71789.10
Invalid/blank votes20,39410.90
Total votes187,111100.00
Registered voters/turnout239,12478.25
Source: Psephos

Indo-Fijian constituenciesEdit

PartyVotes%Seats
Fiji Labour Party108,45974.5819
National Federation Party32,14222.100
New Labour Unity Party3,7312.570
Justice and Freedom Party3260.220
Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua1490.100
Girmit Heritage Party500.030
Fijian Association Party80.010
Independents5650.390
Total145,430100.0019
Valid votes145,43086.81
Invalid/blank votes22,09713.19
Total votes167,527100.00
Registered voters/turnout209,04680.14
Source: Psephos

General constituenciesEdit

PartyVotes%Seats
United General Party3,26032.451
Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua2,47724.661
General Voters Party1,90418.950
New Labour Unity Party9939.891
Conservative Alliance-Matanitu Vanua3253.240
Fijian Association Party3143.130
Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei2522.510
Independents5205.180
Total10,045100.003
Valid votes10,04591.50
Invalid/blank votes9338.50
Total votes10,978100.00
Registered voters/turnout14,95073.43
Source: Psephos

Rotuman constituencyEdit

CandidatePartyVotes%
Marieta RigamotoIndependent1,95952.07
Riamkau Tiu LivinoLio 'On Famör Rotuma Party1,80347.93
Total3,762100.00
Valid votes3,76288.41
Invalid/blank votes49311.59
Total votes4,255100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,57176.38
Source: Psephos

Seats changing handsEdit

This does not include seats that changed candidates but not parties, defections or seats held by members not seeking re-election.

Seat Pre-election Post-election
Party Member Percentage Percentage Member Party
Ba East (Fijian) PANU Ponipate Lesavua 52.55 21.28 Epeli Seavula SDL
Ba West (Fijian) PANU Meli Bogileka 65.53 60.12 Tomasi Sauqaqa SDL
Bua (Fijian) VLV Mitieli Bulanauca 54.74 61.08 Josateki Vula CAMV
Cakaudrove East (Fijian) SVT Inoke Kubuabola 78.66 56.09 Naiqama Lalabalavu CAMV
Cakaudrove West (Fijian) SVT Kinijoji Maivalili 68.94 21.28 Rakuita Vakalalabure CAMV
Cunningham (Open) Labour Joeli Kalou 60.14 56.19 Solomone Naivalu SDL
Kadavu (Fijian) SVT James Ah Koy 83.95 54.65 Komodo Yabaki SDL
Nadroga (Open) Labour Mosese Volavola 55.22 54.15 Jonetani Galuinadi SDL
Nadroga Navosa (Fijian) FAP Leone Tusiowaqa 50.65 53.22 Pita Nacuva SDL
Naitasiri (Fijian) FAP Peceli Rinakama 71.21 75.61 Ilaita Tuisese SDL
Nasinu Rewa (Open) Labour John Ali 50.68 51.11 Peniasi Silatolu SDL
Nasinu Urban (Fijian) FAP Joji Uluinakauvadra 50.43 65.73 Emasi Qovu SDL
Nausori Naitasiri (Open) Labour Lavenia Padarath 50.04 56.92 Asaeli Masilaca SDL
North Eastern (General) GVP Leo Barry Smith 52.59 60.41 David Christopher SDL
North West Urban (Fijian) PANU Akanisi Koroitamana 67.23 68.40 Joji Banuve SDL
Ra (Fijian) PANU Eloni Goneyali 52.98 51.23 Tomasi Viletilovoni SDL
Samabula Tamavua (Open) Labour Tupeni Baba 58.37 56.36 Manoa Dobui SDL

AftermathEdit

Controversy continued after the 2001 election, with Prime Minister Qarase finding reasons, which many considered to be pretexts, for not implementing the power-sharing provisions of the Constitution, which required that every political party with more than 8 seats in the House of Representatives must be proportionally represented in the Cabinet. On 18 July 2003, the Supreme Court of Fiji ruled that Qarase's exclusion of the Labour Party from the Cabinet was unconstitutional, and demanded that the situation be rectified. Appeals, counter-appeals, and negotiations delayed the implementation of the order. In June 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that the Labour Party was entitled to 14 out of 30 Cabinet posts. Qarase has said that he would abide by the ruling, but his refusal to include Chaudhry in the Cabinet lineup continued to stall negotiations, until the FLP announced in November that it was no longer interested in participating in the Qarase-led government.

ReferencesEdit