Rabuka Becomes New Prime Minister of Fiji, Ending Bainimarama’s 16-Year Leadership

Rabuka Sworn in

Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka ended Voreqe Bainimarama’s 16-year reign as leader of the country when he secured a majority of 28 votes during secret ballot voting in Parliament yesterday. Following the vote, Rabuka held a swearing-in ceremony at the State House in Suva, where he stated that he hoped the people of Fiji would have a “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

Rabuka’s Cabinet consists of 13 ministers and nine assistant ministers from his People’s Alliance party, as well as three ministers each from coalition partners the National Federation Party and the Social Democratic Liberal Party.

In addition to the election of the new Prime Minister, yesterday also saw the appointment of Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu as Speaker of Parliament, with Lenora Qereqeretabua of the National Federation Party serving as his deputy. Voreqe Bainimarama, the former Prime Minister, is now the leader of the opposition and has stated that his legacy is the 2013 Constitution.