Fiji’s controversial prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, might elect himself as president and style his leadership on the all-powerful US model to rule the troubled nation, a leading academic has warned.

An announcement is expected next week on who will replace the ailing 88-year-old Ratu Josefa Iloilo who retired last month.

The acting president, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, is seen as a leading contender for the job, but Fiji academic Steven Ratuva says Bainimarama may choose to take the job himself and reconfigure it to become an Obama-type figure in Fiji.

“Frank Bainimarama himself might take over the position and reconfigure the whole power and institutional structures around him,” said Dr Ratuva, a political sociologist at New Zealand’s University of Auckland.

“(That way) the president has more power, something like a US presidential system where he becomes the commander in chief of the army as well as the chief executive of the state and head of state as well.”

The academic said there was speculation about the shift, especially as Bainimarama claimed to be president for several weeks following the December 2006 coup when he seized power.

Fiji has become increasingly isolated in recent months over the regime’s refusal to relinquish power and return democracy with an election.

In April, Bainimarama further angered world powers by abrogating the constitution, removing the judiciary, enforcing blanket media censorship controls and setting elections back to September 2014.

For this, the country was suspended from the key regional group, the Pacific Islands Forum, and is facing expulsion from the Commonwealth on September 1 if it fails to hold elections in 2010.

A planned visit by a Commonwealth official to Fiji to reconcile differences was last week cancelled due to a clash in diary dates.



  1. Teejay For a Free Fiji Says:

    This would be in keeping with power crazed megalomania that is stereptypical of Dictators. If this happens, the Bainimarama-isation of Fiji is complete. He gets what he wants.
    The rest of Fiji loses and of course he does not give a damn about that.
    God help the people of Fiji as their country with its Pariah Dictator becomes a Zimbabwean like state.

  2. Anon Says:

    It was interesting (and laughable!) hearing him on air yesterday trying to refute comparisons made between Fiji being led by him and Zimbabwe. I just cannot comprehend the level of intellect this wanna-be dictator has when he argues that there is no such things happening in Zimbabwe thats happening here in Fiji….hello! how about the subtle clandestine operations that are a daily occurence in our midst….human rights abuses, suppression, etc. From what I presume he equates the visible presence of gun-toting goons and physically confisicating properties to Zimbabwe, which he claims is not happening here….OMG! He just turns a blind eye to militarisation of government and usurping all credible institutions to shove in his block-head military man to take control!!!!Oh! pppplllleeeeaaassseee, give me a break!

  3. balluk Says:

    Now that the idiot has finally screwed the Fijian economy to a brankruptcy point, has money stock away, in a Indian Bank in New Delhi, has property&house build in India, its time to give up the Minister of finance, to some dump ass Minister, who would get to be blamed, for the country’s financial bankruptcy!
    Well,seems to me that we’re all guessing right this time ie that he the macafakan azzole voreqe, will accend or declared himself, the Fiji President for life. Why would he want anyone of the chiefs to be in that position, as they are dumb,stupid,cowardly and gutless? Seriously,Would you picked anyone of this chiefs…Ului Mara?he’s full of shit,Epeli Nailatikau,he’s too friken weak to be any kind of leader,Epeli Ganilau?gimme a break man he’s too friken stupid and can’t even count to 10! the Maras girls?man…na matadravu ya, sa tu la, mei mimi????

  4. Cama Says:

    He should conduct a referendum on the change of Government from PM to Pressie.
    He did not want to hold a referendum on the Charter because it will fail. We should wait and see. Waraka namaka

  5. gdevreal Says:

    The comparison to the US Presidency is a lame one. The US President is not “all powerful”. He is subject to the courts and the congress. There is a balance of power. If he oversteps the line, he gets pulled back by the others, or if all else fails, shot by any Tom or Harry Dick. Every adult is entitled to own a gun under the second ammendment to the Constitution. What the People of Fiji need to counter the army is a fully armed citizenry. Voreqe would not last a day.

  6. LUVfiji Says:

    @gdevreal – good comment!

    Frank will never live to see the next day, if and when, he becomes President by self-appointment.

  7. orion Says:

    Agree. Only check against the abuse of the use of military power by the military (& its Backers) & prevent it from taking over the government is to arm its citizens. The founders of US Constitution had exactly that in mind.

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