NEWS

Four More Years ?

JYOTI PRATIBHA, Suva The ruling FijiFirst party was comfortably leading the pack as election counting continued early today. When counting started last night, the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and
15 Nov 2018 10:54
Four More Years ?
LEADER: Prime Minister and FijiFirst Party leader Voreqe Bainimarama easily led the vote count early today. Photo: Ronald Kumar

JYOTI PRATIBHA, Suva

The ruling FijiFirst party was comfortably leading the pack as election counting continued early today.

Fijian Elections Office officials at the National Results Centre at the FMF Gymnasium, Laucala Bay, Suva, on November 15, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fijian Elections Office officials at the National Results Centre at the FMF Gymnasium, Laucala Bay, Suva, on November 15, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar

When counting started last night, the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and its leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, took an early lead by a few hundred votes.

The votes included pre-poll voting figures.

But then FijiFirst and its leader, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, overtook SODELPA and Mr Rabuka.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with supporters last night.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with supporters last night.

Among the early winners were (the figures were recorded when this edition went to press early today):

  • Mr Bainimarama. He was well in front with 126,420 votes. But he needed more than 76,000 more to surpass his 2014 election vote count;
  • Mr Rabuka, in second place, was clearly beating the challenge from SODELPA rival Ro Teimumu Kepa. His court case victories helped lift his profile and won the hearts of SODELPA members. He surpassed Ro Teimumu’s vote count in 2014 of 49,484. Mr Rabuka had already received 58,927;
  • Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, in third spot, ahead of National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad. He had early today 14,095, already more than the 13,753 he polled in 2014;
  • Mr Prasad, however, scored 9397 compared with 8097 in 2014;
  • Lynda Tabuya was in fourth place as early today the highest-ranking woman. She has benefitted from Mr Rabuka’s popularity rise as one of his closest allies in the internal battle for leadership. She has been one of SODELPA’s hardest-working candidates. Overtaking Ro Teimumu was no mean feat;
  • Alipate Tuicolo Nagata (FijiFirst) was in sixth place early today. His votes may have also come from a mix-up between his number 668 and Mr Bainimarama’s 688;
  • SODELPA’s Mosese Bulitavu was in eighth place ahead of Ro Teimumu. Like Mr Rabuka, his court case helped build his support.
Fijian Elections Office officials and political party poll agents at the National Results Centre at the FMF Gymnasium, Laucala Bay, Suva, on November 15, 2018.  Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fijian Elections Office officials and political party poll agents at the National Results Centre at the FMF Gymnasium, Laucala Bay, Suva, on November 15, 2018.
Photo: Ronald Kumar

Among the losers:

  • Ro Teimumu, in seventh place, lost a lot of the support she won in 2014. She had 4152 votes early today. In 2014, she won 49,485;
  • NFP president Pio Tikoduadua had scored 1727 early today. In 2014 under FijiFirst, he polled 3611 votes;
  • NFP vice-president Seni Nabou scored 118 by early today. In 2014, she polled 137.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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