Introduction ::Fiji

    Fiji became independent in 1970 after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987 caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). The coups and a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control of Fiji led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties, but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian, but a civilian-led coup in May 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE. Re-elected in May 2006, QARASE was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA, who initially appointed himself acting president but in January 2007 became interim prime minister. Since taking power BAINIMARAMA has neutralized his opponents, crippled Fiji's democratic institutions, and initially refused to hold elections. In 2012, he promised to hold elections in 2014.

Geography ::Fiji

People and Society ::Fiji

    noun: Fijian(s)
    adjective: Fijian
    Fijian 57.3% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 37.6%, Rotuman 1.2%, other 3.9% (European, other Pacific Islanders, Chinese) (2007 census)
    English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
    Protestant 55.4% (Methodist 34.6%, Assembly of God 5.7%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.9%, Anglican 0.8%, other 10.4%), Hindu 27.9%, Roman Catholic 9.1%, Muslim 6.3%, Sikh 0.3%, other or unspecified 0.3%, none 0.7% (2007 census)
    896,758 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    0-14 years: 28.4% (male 129,938/female 124,374)
    15-24 years: 17.4% (male 79,597/female 76,080)
    25-54 years: 41.1% (male 188,488/female 179,760)
    55-64 years: 7.6% (male 34,251/female 33,753)
    65 years and over: 5.6% (male 23,212/female 27,305) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 52.2 %
    youth dependency ratio: 43.9 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 8.3 %
    potential support ratio: 12.1 (2013)
    total: 27.6 years
    male: 27.4 years
    female: 27.8 years (2013 est.)
    0.73% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    20.28 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    5.96 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    -6.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    urban population: 52% of total population (2010)
    rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    SUVA (capital) 174,000 (2009)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    26 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    total: 10.46 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 141
    male: 11.53 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 9.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 71.87 years
    country comparison to the world: 139
    male: 69.26 years
    female: 74.62 years (2013 est.)
    2.54 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    4.9% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    0.45 physicians/1,000 population (2003)
    2.1 beds/1,000 population (2009)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 95% of population
    total: 98% of population
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 5% of population
    total: 2% of population (2010 est.)
    urban: 94% of population
    rural: 71% of population
    total: 83% of population
    urban: 6% of population
    rural: 29% of population
    total: 17% of population (2010 est.)
    0.1% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    30.6% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    4.1% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 93.7%
    male: 95.5%
    female: 91.9% (2003 est.)
    total: 15.7 years (2011)

Government ::Fiji

    conventional long form: Republic of Fiji
    conventional short form: Fiji
    local long form: Republic of Fiji/Matanitu ko Viti
    local short form: Fiji/Viti
    name: 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
    4 divisions and 1 dependency*; Central, Eastern, Northern, Rotuma*, Western
    10 October 1970 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, second Monday of October (1970)
    enacted 25 July 1997; effective 28 July 1998; note - constitution encourages multiculturalism and makes multiparty government mandatory
    common law system based on the English model
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    21 years of age; universal
    chief 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
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    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
    bicameral 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 reportedly will be held in 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
    highest 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)
    Dodonu 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]
    Group Against Racial Discrimination or GARD [Dr. Anirudk SINGH] (for restoration of a democratic government)
    Viti Landowners Association
    chief of mission: Ambassador Winston THOMPSON
    chancery: 2000 M Street, NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 466-8320
    FAX: [1] (202) 466-8325
    chief of mission: Ambassador Frankie A. REED
    embassy: 158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
    mailing address: P. O. Box 218, Suva
    telephone: [679] 331-4466
    FAX: [679] 330-2267
    light 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
    name: "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

Economy ::Fiji

Energy ::Fiji

Communications ::Fiji

    129,800 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    727,000 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    general assessment: modern local, interisland, and international (wire/radio integrated) public and special-purpose telephone, telegraph, and teleprinter facilities; regional radio communications center
    domestic: telephone or radio telephone links to almost all inhabited islands; most towns and large villages have automatic telephone exchanges and direct dialing; combined fixed and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 100 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 679; access to important cable links between US and Canada as well as between NZ and Australia; satellite earth stations - 2 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean) (2011)
    Fiji TV, a publicly traded company, operates a free-to-air channel as well as Sky Fiji and Sky Pacific multi-channel pay-TV services; state-owned commercial company, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, Ltd, operates 6 radio stations - 2 public broadcasters and 4 commercial broadcasters with multiple repeaters; 5 radio stations with repeaters operated by Communications Fiji, Ltd; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2009)
    21,739 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    114,200 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 157

Transportation ::Fiji

    28 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    total: 4
    over 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    total: 24
    914 to 1,523 m: 5
    under 914 m:
    19 (2013)
    total: 597 km
    country comparison to the world: 108
    narrow gauge: 597 km 0.600-m gauge
    note: belongs to the government-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation; used to haul sugarcane during the harvest season, which runs from May to December (2008)
    total: 3,440 km
    country comparison to the world: 162
    paved: 1,692 km
    unpaved: 1,748 km (2000)
    203 km (122 km are navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    total: 11
    country comparison to the world: 108
    by type: passenger 4, passenger/cargo 4, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 2
    foreign-owned: 2 (Australia 2) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Lautoka, Levuka, Suva

Military ::Fiji