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Fiji

Yearbook 2007

Fiji. Commander Frank Bainimarama re-elected Ratu Josefa Iloilo as President on January 4. Iloilo had been president until December 5, 2006, when Bainimarama took power in a coup - the fourth in the country in two decades - and declared himself transition president. Bainimarama overthrew Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, who he accused of being corrupt. After Iloilo regained power, he gave his support to the coup and swore in turn to Bainimarama as interim prime minister on January 5. Temporary Prime Minister Jonah Senilagakali, whom Bainimarama had appointed, resigned.

2007 Fiji

According to CountryAAH, the influential Great Chiefs Council, which Bainimarama failed to get support from in connection with the coup, accepted his appointment as prime minister after Iloilo regained executive power.

The following day, Bainimarama set up his interim government with ministers from all the major parties. The Finance Minister was appointed leader of the Labor Party, Mahendra Chaudhry, who was forced to leave the post of Prime Minister at the coup led by George Speight in 2000. The new Foreign Minister, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, former army chief, Deputy Prime Minister and Speaker of the House of Commons, said relations with Fiji's neighboring countries. Several of them condemned the coup and imposed sanctions on Fiji.

Bainimarama promised to lead Fiji to democracy, but no date for new elections was announced. Following pressure from the EU and the regional cooperation organization Pacific Islands Forum, he promised to hold elections in 2010. Before that, the transitional government would carry out a census and review the constitution. Bainimarama's goal was that the Fijians would no longer vote based on the candidates' ethnic affiliation. Later, at a meeting with the leaders of the Pacific countries in October, Bainimarama promised to hold elections as early as 2009.

On May 31, the state of emergency, which had prevailed since the military coup, was canceled. It was a requirement from the EU to resume aid to the country. In early September, however, the state of emergency was reinstated for a period of one month. It was then intended as a warning to the overthrowing Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, who had returned to the capital Suva and who, according to Bainimarama, tried to destabilize the country. The state of emergency allowed the authorities to keep people imprisoned without charge.

In early November, 16 people were arrested accused of planning to murder Bainimarama and carrying out a coup. Among the arrested were senior military, politicians and businessmen.

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