Fiji: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Fiji
conventional short form: Fiji
local long form: Republic of Fiji/Matanitu ko Viti
local short form: Fiji/Viti
CapitalSuva (on Viti Levu) Suva (on Viti Levu)
geographic coordinates: 18 08 S, 178 25 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins fourth Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in January
Administrative divisions14 provinces and 1 dependency*; Ba, Bua, Cakaudrove, Kadavu, Lau, Lomaiviti, Macuata, Nadroga and Navosa, Naitasiri, Namosi, Ra, Rewa, Rotuma*, Serua, Tailevu
Constitutionseveral previous; latest signed into law September 2013 (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: President Ratu Epeli NAILATIKAU (since 30 July 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE (since 10 September 2000); note - although QARASE is still the legal prime minister, he has been confined to his home island; former President ILOILOVATU appointed Commodore Voreqe "Frank" BAINIMARAMA interim prime minister under the military regime
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among the members of Parliament and responsible to Parliament; note - coup leader Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA has appointed an interim cabinet
elections: under the constitution, president elected by the Great Council of Chiefs for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); in 2007 the Great Council of Chiefs was suspended from its role in electing the president; prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Ratu Epeli NAILATIKAU was appointed by Chief Justice Anthony GATES
Flag descriptionlight blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Fijian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the blue symbolizes the Pacific ocean and the Union Jack reflects the links with Great Britain; the shield - taken from Fiji's coat of arms - depicts a yellow lion above a white field quartered by the cross of Saint George; the four quarters depict stalks of sugarcane, a palm tree, bananas, and a white dove
Independence10 October 1970 (from the UK)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice, all justices of the Court of Appeal, and judges appointed specifically as Supreme Court judges); Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, all puisne judges of the High Court, and judges specifically appointed to the Court of Appeal); High Court (chaired by the chief justice and includes a minimum of 10 puisne judges; High Court organized into civil, criminal, family, employment, and tax divisions)
note - in 1987, the Supreme Court assumed functions formerly performed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the president of Fiji on the advice of the prime minister following consultation with the parliamentary leader of the opposition; judges of the Supreme Court, the president of the Court of Appeal, the justices of the Court of Appeal, and puisne judges of the High Court are appointed by the president of Fiji, upon the nomination of the Judicial Service Commission, after consulting with the cabinet minister and the committee of the House of Representatives responsible for the administration of justice; the chief justice, Supreme Court judges, and justices of Appeal generally required to retire at age 70, but may be waived for one or more sessions of the court; puisine judges appointed for not less than 4 years nor more than 7 years with mandatory retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: Magistrates' Court (organized into civil, criminal, juvenile, and small claims divisions)
Legal systemcommon law system based on the English model
Legislative branchbicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (32 seats; 14 members appointed by the president on the advice of the Great Council of Chiefs, 9 appointed by the president on the advice of the Prime Minister, 8 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 1 appointed on the advice of the council of Rotuma) and the House of Representatives (71 seats; 23 members reserved for ethnic Fijians, 19 reserved for ethnic Indians, 3 reserved for other ethnic groups, 1 reserved for the council of Rotuma constituency encompassing the whole of Fiji, and 25 open seats; members serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held on 6-13 May 2006 (long delayed, the next elections will be held 17 September 2014)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - SDL 44.6%, FLP 39.2%, UPP 0.8%, independents 4.9%, other 10.5%; seats by party - SDL 36, FLP 31, UPP 2, independents 2
International organization participationACP, ADB, AOSIS, C (suspended), CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, PIF, Sparteca (suspended), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayIndependence Day, second Monday of October (1970)
Political pressure groups and leadersGroup Against Racial Discrimination or GARD (Dr. Anirudk SINGH) (for restoration of a democratic government)
Viti Landowners Association
Political parties and leadersDodonu Ni Taukei Party or DNT (Fereti S. DEWA)
Fiji Democratic Party or FDP (Filipe BOLE) (a merger of the Christian Democrat Alliance or VLV (Poesci Waqalevu BUNE), Fijian Association Party or FAP, Fijian Political Party or SVT (Sitiveni RABUKA) (primarily Fijian), and New Labor Unity Party or NLUP (Ofa SWANN))
Fiji Labor Party or FLP (Mahendra CHAUDHRY)
General Voters Party or GVP (became part of United General Party)
Girmit Heritage Party or GHP
Justice and Freedom Party or AIM
Lio 'On Famor Rotuma Party or LFR
National Federation Party or NFP (Pramond RAE) (primarily Indian)
Nationalist Vanua Takolavo Party or NVTLP (Saula TELAWA)
Party of National Unity or PANU (Ponipate LESAVUA)
Party of the Truth or POTT
United Fiji Party/Sogosogo Duavata ni Lewenivanua or SDL (Laisenia QARASE)
United Peoples Party or UPP (Millis Mick BEDDOES)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typerepublic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Winston THOMPSON (since 20 April 2009)
chancery: 2000 M Street, NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: (1) (202) 466-8320
FAX: (1) (202) 466-8325
National anthemname: "God Bless Fiji"
lyrics/music: Michael Francis Alexander PRESCOTT/C. Austin MILES (adapted by Michael Francis Alexander PRESCOTT)
note: adopted 1970; the anthem is known in Fijian as "Meda Dau Doka" (Let Us Show Pride); adapted from the hymn, "Dwelling in Beulah Land," the anthem's English lyrics are generally sung, although they differ in meaning from the official Fijian lyrics
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Frankie A. REED (since 15 October 2011) note - also accredited to Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu
embassy: 158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
mailing address: P. O. Box 218, Suva
telephone: (679) 331-4466
FAX: (679) 330-2267