Military Government of Fiji declared to hold democratic elections on 17 September
Military Government of Fiji declared in Suva on 28 March 2014 to hold the democratic elections in Fiji on 17 September 2014. This will be the first democratic elections to be held in Fiji since the military coup in 2006. 17 September has been declared as paid holiday in Fiji for the elections.
The election decree was signed by the Interim President of Fiji Epeli Nailatikau three weeks after the coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama stepped down as military leader. Bainimarama stepped down so as to contest elections as civilian, however, he will remain the interim Prime Minister until the elections.
Binimarama toppled the democratically elected government headed by Laisenia Qarase in December 2006. He tore up the Constitution on the ground that it had aggravated the racial divisions between the indigenous majority and ethnic Indian minority.
Fiji experienced four coups between 1987 and 2006. The coup of 2006 led to imposition of sanctions by Australia and New Zealand. Whereas the Commonwealth fully suspended the membership of Fiji in 2009 after the military government refused to call polls by 2010. Some restrictions, however, have been lifted with the progress in plans to hold elections.