Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama will stay in power for a second consecutive term as he has narrowly won a general election that was delayed by intense storms.
Bainimarama’s FijiFirst party won 50.2 percent of the vote to claim 27 of the 51 seats in the Pacific island nation’s parliament for the next four years, according to the electoral commission.
The opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), led by rival coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka, finished a close second with nearly 40 percent of the vote to clinch 21 seats.
“I’m proud to become your prime minister once again,” Bainimarama told FBC News from Auckland, New Zealand, where he had been attending his brother’s funeral.
Fiji went to polls on Wednesday, only the second time the country has held democratic elections since former military strongman Bainimarama led a bloodless coup in 2006.
Heavy rain caused some parts of the nation to delay voting until Saturday.
Fiji’s electoral commission was deliberating on Sunday on the allocation of the seats under the watch of the Multinational Observer Group.
The commission’s official announcement of the election result is expected early this week.
Earlier on Sunday, leaders of the four opposition parties held a joint press conference in the capital, Suva, to raise concerns over discrepancies in official figures being released by the election authority, the Fiji Times reported.
“The supervisor of elections has been in a great hurry to get the results out,” Mahendra Chaudhry of the Fiji Labor Party said.
“He has, in the process, compromised the procedures and the requirement of the law, so that should be set right if this election is to have any credibility,” Chaudhry said.
Elections Supervisor Mohammed Saneem said in response that the authorities had been open.