Mandatory Power-Sharing in Coup-Prone Fiji

Jon Fraenkel

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter argues that while the broad objective of facilitating cross-ethnic power-sharing was the best available response to the country's history of inter-ethnic strife, Fiji's power-sharing arrangements nonetheless suffered from serious defects. For consociational theorists, Fiji is significant not because power-sharing provisions shaped the cabinets of 1999 to 2000 or 2001 to 2006, but because it illustrates the danger that mandatory power-sharing arrangements may draw the law courts into partisan decisions about cabinet representation and that judges may not necessarily handle these issues well. In the wake of the 1987 crises, a new 1990 constitution entrenched 'Fijian paramountcy', reserving the positions of president and prime minister for ethnic Fijians and imposing an electoral law that provided solely for communal electorates. The 2001 election delivered a much more polarized outcome than that in 1999. The 2006 election was a showdown between the heavily indigenous-backed Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) and the predominantly Indian-backed Fiji Labour Party (FLP).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPower Sharing: Empirical and Normative Challenges**
    Editors Allison McCulloch, John McGarry
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)9781138640368
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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