Fiji - Political parties



Fiji's political parties were in a state of flux after the FLP's unexpected victory in 1999. FLP is a multiethnic party, though some see it as Indian-dominated. After SVT's disappointing showing, Sitiveni Rabuka resigned as leader, and this Fijian-based party was headed by Ratu Inoke Kabuabola, leader of the opposition. It is currently headed by Felipe Bole. The Fijian Association Party, also focused on ethnic interests, is led by a woman, Adi Kuini Speed. It is not clear if the Indian-based National Federation Party will ever come back from its stunning defeat. After the August 2001 parliamentary elections, the NFP, for nearly 40 years the dominant Indian party, was entirely eliminated, as was the SVT. The FLP, led by Mahendra Chaudhry, has a support base of trade unions, workers and farmers, providing it with an efficient, grassroots campaigning structure. The Soqoso Duavata ni Lewenivuana Party (Fijian United Party or SDL) was created by caretaker Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase in an attempt to consolidate his support and unite the Fijian vote. The SDL has been accused of not broadening its appeal to Indian voters, and some have accused it of racism.

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