Demography and economic geography
According to petsinclude, Fiji is an island state of Oceania, in the southwestern Pacific. In 2012 the estimated population was 858,038 residents (887,027 residents in 2014, according to an estimate by UNDESA, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs), mainly of the Taukei ethnic group (original name of the indigenous population introduced by law in 2010). Since 2007, the Indian component has been down by 7%, largely emigrated due to ethnic tensions. In 2001, urbanization had settled at around 52.2%, with the only large urban agglomeration of the capital Suva (177,000 residents). In 2009, 31% of the population was still below the poverty line.
After the elections of May 2006 – in which the coalition gathered around the United Fiji Party (UFP) won 36 seats against the 31 of the Fiji Labor Party (FLP) – a multi-party government was formed in the Fiji outgoing premier Laisenia Qarase and with ministers from UFP and FLP. Tensions in the country were already bitter between Qarase and the commander of the military forces Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, who was particularly opposed to a measure that would have entailed amnesty for the personalities involved in the 2000 coup. in December 2006 Bainimarama overthrew the government with a bloodless coup, declared a state of emergency and deprived the President of the Republic Josefa Iloilo of executive authority. Parliament was also dissolved, while in the following January Iloilo resumed his post and appointed Bainimarama as prime minister. The elections initially promised for March 2009 were postponed by the premier due to the lack of reform of the electoral system in force in the country; the delays in organizing the vote, however, cost the Fiji the suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum (May 2009) and from the Commonwealth (September 2009). The political situation experienced a new moment of tension in April 2009, when the Court of Appeal sanctioned the unconstitutionality of the 2006 coup and the assumption of power by Bainimarama: President Iloilo removed the judges, repealed the Constitution in 1997 and confirmed Bainimarama as premier; martial law was also imposed. The latter was removed in January 2012, in view of the initiation of a constituent process to endow the country with a new Constitution. After a controversial path and a first version proposed by a Commission ad hoc and rejected by the government in January 2013, the Constitution entered into force in September of the same year. In addition to various institutional innovations, the new Charter provided for the calling of elections by September 2014, introduced an electoral system that abolished the substantial allocation of seats on an ethnic basis – between Melanesians, Indians, Rotumans and other minorities – and confirmed the validity of a provision of 2010 which guaranteed immunity to the personalities involved in the coups of 2000 and 2006 not yet condemned. With 59.2% of the votes and 32 seats won, the Fiji first party of Prime Minister Bainimarama – who was confirmed in his role – won the elections of September 2014. Following the consultations, the Fiji were readmitted to the Commonwealth and to the Pacific Islands Forum.