The BGA Fiji Team led by Senior Advisor Amb. Ian Kemish, wrote an update to clients on the current political atmosphere in Fiji following the recent national election.  


  • The political situation in Fiji remains stable but fragile a month after a nail-biting election saga which saw the country experience its first democratic transition of power in 23 years. The new coalition government, formed between Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka’s People’s Alliance party, the Social Democratic Liberal Party and the National Federation Party, may face challenges over time in keeping its coalition aligned and working together.
  • The government’s key stated priorities for the first 100 days include supporting the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic and reviewing Fiji’s democratic institutions and human rights protections. Rabuka had campaigned hard on the latter of these issues, highlighting the erosion of institutions over the last 16 years under former Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.


  • There have been some early encouraging signs about how Fiji will navigate its external relationships and adopt regional leadership on key issues including climate change, geo-strategic competition and regional security. Rabuka has indicated that his government will forge closer ties with Fiji’s “traditional partners,” Australia and New Zealand, and dial back relations with China.
  • The government was forced to summon Fiji’s military commander Jone Kalouniwai on January 17 after he issued a statement raising the military’s concerns about the “sweeping changes” by the current government. While Kalouniwai issued a follow up statement assuring the government that the military will “continue to stand with democracy” and “continue to respect the law,” his original warning stirred anxiety and raised tensions in Fiji.


  • The government has suggested that it likely will continue with the policies of the previous government that support economic recovery and ease cost-of-living pressures. The budget, to be released mid-year, will target job creation, cost of living and investor confidence.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact BGA Senior Advisor Amb. Ian Kemish at