The Troubled quest for national political leadership in Fiji

Robert Norton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: The tendency for ethnic conflict to dominate political life has impeded attempts to achieve leadership and equitable government for the multi-ethnic nation and caused crises of political instability. A review of the past attempts to achieve national leadership through electoral competition illuminates the historical context of the turbulent political process of the last decade. Overcoming the impasse of ethnic conflict is the central objective of the military-based regime which continues to rule following the first parliament elections since the 2006 coup against an ethno-nationalist government and the first based on a full common franchise and the prohibition of invidious ethnic appeals in campaigning. Inter-ethnic cooperation and cross-ethnic voting were stronger features than in past elections and perhaps augur well for achievement of the elusive broad-based national leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
JournalRound Table
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2015


  • Fiji
  • party politics
  • indigenous interests
  • military
  • coups
  • nation building


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