Government of Fiji

Post-Fijian Independence – Changes in Power

After 96 years of British rule, Fiji was granted its independence on October 10, 1970, and became a self-governing nation within the Commonwealth. Then in 1987, a military regime was established followed by two coups led by Sitiveni Rabuka, and soon afterward Fiji was declared a republic. In 1992, Fiji returned to an elected government, though that system fell in November of 1993 as a result of failure to pass a budget for 1994.

After a general election in February of 1994, the government of Prime Minister Rabuka returned to power. Under this government, the Fiji constitution was reviewed in 1995, which resulted in the signing of a new constitution that took effect in July of 1998 and that was widely accepted by the Fijian people. All major political parties participated in the review process, so the people of Fiji had consulted and agreed upon it. This procedure also assured economic and political stability in the country.

In May of 1999, an election was held under this new constitution, and the Labor Party received a surprise victory. As a result, the role of prime minister was granted to an Indo-Fijian, Mahendra Chaudhry, who led one of the three parties of the "People’s Coalition" (which was also introduced during this time), the Fiji Labour Party (FLP). The other two parties are the Fijian Association Party (FAP), led by Adi Kuini Speed, and the Party of National Unity (PANU), led by Apisai Tora. This new system of government, which was voted on in free and fair elections, experienced a peaceful transition of power.

Current Political System

The country's current political setup consists of the president as the head of state with the prime minister as the head of government. Fiji's constitution provides for a bicameral parliament, which consists of the president, an elected house of representatives with one member, and a nominated senate with 32 members.

Under Fiji's current government, the country is divided into four districts for purposes of administration: the central district, based in Nausori, the northern district, based in Labasa, the eastern district, based in Levuka, and the western district, based in Lautoka. Each district has jurisdiction over the provinces that are within its division. In total, there are 14 provinces, which are each governed by a council that have an executive head granted by the Fijian Affairs Board. These councils generally oversee urban affairs.

The 20th century also brought about important economic changes. During this timeframe, Fiji developed a major sugar industry, while establishing tourism, productive copra milling and other secondary industries as well. Because of these economic advances, the revenues have provided for health and medical services, expanded public works, education and infrastructure.

Also, because of recent developments in air and sea communication and transport, Fiji now plays a major role in regional affairs and is known as the focal point of the South Pacific.

International Relations and Fijian Embassies

Fiji's international relations, which were at first hampered by political problems that took place within the country, became stronger after it became a member of the United Nations in 1970 and actively participated in its affairs. Its participation in UN peacekeeping has become very significant, as Fiji's leadership in the South Pacific area resulted in its vital role in the building up of the South Pacific forum.

The Fiji embassy represents the government of Fiji in other countries. It consists of the embassy staff, honorary consuls, trade bureaus and trade commissions.  

Fiji embassies and consulates are located in several countries, including:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Fiji National Anthem

After Fiji became independent from Britain, its national anthem was composed to show respect to the country. Its melody is based on a traditional Fijian song. It is sung on important occasions such as Independence Day and has both an indigenous and English version, though the English version is more common.

The Fijian version:

Meda dau doka ka vinakata na vanua
E ra sa dau tiko kina na savasava
Rawa tu na gauna ni sautu na veilomani
Biu na i tovo tawa savasava

Me bula ga ko Viti
Ka me toro ga ki liu
Me ra turaga vinaka ko ira na i liuliu
Me ra liutaki na tamata
E na veika vinaka
Me oti kina na i tovo ca

Me da dau doka ka vinakata na vanua
E ra sa dau tiko kina na savasava
Rawa tu na gauna ni sautu na veilomani
Me sa biu na i tovo tawa yaga

Bale ga vei kemuni na cauravou e Viti
Ni yavala me savasava na vanua
Ni kakua ni vosota na dukadukali
Ka me da sa qai biuta vakadua

The English version:

Blessing grant oh God of nations on the isles of Fiji
As we stand united under noble banner blue
And we honor and defend the cause of freedom ever
Onward march together God bless Fiji

For Fiji, ever Fiji, let our voices ring with pride.
For Fiji ever Fiji her name hail far and wide,
A land of freedom , hope and glory to endure what ever befall.
May God bless Fiji Forever more!

Blessing grant oh God of nations on the isles of Fiji
Shores of golden sand and sunshine, happiness and song
Stand united , we of Fiji, fame and glory ever
Onward march together God bless Fiji.