Polls have now closed in the Fiji general election and results are flowing in.
Voreqe Bainimarama of the FijiFirst party, and his main rival, Sitiveni Rabuka of the People’s Alliance, cast their votes at their local polling stations.
Questioned by media, they both said they were confident of victory.
Bainimarama became embroiled in a tense standoff with an Australian journalist.
Bainimarama growls at an Australian reporter. Video: RNZ Pacific
On being asked if he would respect the outcome of the vote if it did not go in his favour, he responded that he would.
He then asked the reporter where she came from and whether Australia had “more intelligent reporters” to send to Fiji.
Soon after election day, the Multinational Observer Group is set to release an interim statement outlining its initial observations.
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The group said a final report would be completed as soon as practical after election day, which would include more detailed observations, an assessment of the electoral processes observed, and any recommendations as appropriate.
- As of 9.45pm (Fiji local time), Rabuka’s People’s Alliance Party had a strong lead with 4450 votes (46.04 percent) in early provisional party votes. Prime Minister Bainimarama’s FijiFirst Party had 2780 votes (28.76 percent). Professor Biman Prasad’s National Federation Party count was 1032 votes (10.68 percent). However, Bainimarama was ahead in the candidate results, leading by 1228 votes (18.75 percent) ahead of Rabuka who held 1714 votes (17.73 percent).