Fiji. In March, Fiji's Court of Appeal ruled that the
interim minister appointed at the 2000 coup was illegal.
Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase resigned but was reinstated a
day later by President Iloila.
Countryaah, Parliamentary elections were held in August - September,
and the largest party was Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua
(SDL), formed by Qarase in May. SDL received 32 of the House
of Representatives 71 seats, followed by the Social
Democratic Labor Party, which received 27 seats. The latter,
however, received a larger share of the votes.
The conservative alliance Matanai Vanua (MV) became the
third largest party with 6 seats. The coup leader from 2000,
George Speight, entered Parliament for the MV. He was still
in custody, charged with treason, but allowed to stand
because he had not yet been sentenced. He was later expelled
from Parliament. The formal reason was that he had been
absent from two consecutive parliamentary sessions.
Qarase formed government together with MV. This meant
that all ministers were ethnic Fijians. The Labor Party,
which is dominated by the Indian minority, was held outside
the government despite the constitution being entitled to
ministerial posts. Labor leader Mahendra Chaudhry turned to
the court to support his claims for representation in the