Fijian Alliance

From Academic Kids

Template:Politics of Fiji

The Fijian Alliance, also known as the Alliance Party, was the ruling political party in Fiji from 1966 to 1987. Founded in the early 1960s, its leader was Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, the founding father of the modern Fijian nation. Widely seen as the political vehicle of the traditional Fijian chiefs, the Alliance Party also commanded considerable support among the Europeans and other ethnic minorities, who, although comprising only 3-4 percent of Fiji's population, were over represented in the parliament (with a third of the seats before 1973, and a sixth thereafter, allocated to them). Indo-Fijians were less supportive, but the Fijian-European block vote kept the Alliance Party in power for more than twenty years.

The rule of the Alliance Party was briefly challenged in the election of March 1977, when a split in the ethnic Fijian vote resulted in the loss of nine seats. The Alliance ended up with 24 seats in the 52-seat parliament, two less than the Indo-Fijian-dominated National Federation Party (NFP). A constitutional crisis developed when, three days after the election, the NFP splintered in a leadership brawl, and the Governor General of Fiji, Ratu Sir George Cakobau, asked the Mara government to remain in power in a caretaker capacity. A second election was held in September that year to resolve the impasse; the Alliance was returned with an unprecedented 36 seats out of 52.

The majority of the Alliance Party was reduced in the 1982 election, but with 28 seats out of 52, it retained office. In April 1987, the party was finally beaten by a multi-racial coalition led by Timoci Bavadra, an ethnic Fijian who nevertheless drew most of his support from the Indo-Fijian population.

After less than a month in office, the new government was deposed in a military coup led by Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka. After several months of turmoil, the former Prime Minister Ratu Mara, the Alliance Party leader, was called back to head a transitional government. As part of a major realignment of Fijian politics, however, the Alliance Party was dissolved.

More than fifteen years after the disbanding of the Fijian Alliance, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, Chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs from 2001 to 2004, and a son-in-law of the late Ratu Mara, formally registered the National Alliance Party of Fiji on 18 January 2005 as a claimed successor to the defunct party. Ganilau launched the new party at a mass rally in Suva on 8 April 2005.

The Fijian Alliance was considered to be a centre-right party, and was a member of the International Democrat Union, a umbrella-organization of moderate right-wing parties from many countries, including the Republican Party of the United States, the British Conservative Party, and the Australian Liberal Party.

nl:Alliantiepartij van Fiji


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