Suva: Sitiveni Rabuka, leader of the People’s Alliance (PA) party, was elected Prime Minister of Fiji’s new coalition government for the next four years after the first sitting of parliament here on Saturday.
According to the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, the 74-year-old Rabuka received 28 votes while the FijiFirst party (FFP) leader Voreqe Bainimarama gained 27 votes.
Meanwhile, Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has been elected the new speaker of parliament.
In this year’s general elections, which were held last Wednesday, the FFP gained 26 seats, the PA won 21 seats, its partner National Federation Party (NFP) secured five seats and the the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) captured three seats.
Under Fiji’s electoral system, a party can form a government if it wins 28 seats or more in the 55-member parliament. The FFP had been in power since 2014, but this time the party failed to secure the majority of seats in parliament.
The PA and the NFP have already formed a pre-election coalition. The SODELPA decided on Friday to partner with the PA and the NFP to form a coalition government, which now has 29 seats in parliament.
Rabuka was Fiji’s prime minister from 1992-1999.