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Yearbook 2003

Fiji. According to, Fiji Independence Day is October 10.The Supreme Court announced in July that Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase’s refusal to include the Indian-dominated Labor Party (FLP) in government violates the Constitution. According to Fiji’s constitution, which aims to promote multi-party governments with representatives from different ethnic groups, parties with at least 10% of seats in the House of Representatives are entitled to government posts. FLP has 38%. The HD decision established a ruling in the Appellate Court of 2002.

Qarase, which after the 2001 elections formed a government with only Fijian ministers, believes that the ruling party SDL and FLP cannot cooperate because their political programs are diametrically opposite. In accordance with the HD decision, in August Qarase offered 14 FLP members a seat in the government. At the same time, the number of ministers would be increased from 22 to 36. Among the respondents, however, there was no FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry, because Qarase claimed that he could not cooperate with him. The 14 selected refused to accept the offers as long as Chaudhry could not be included in the government. In September, Qarase returned the issue to HD to determine how many ministerial posts FLP was entitled to. According to Chaudhry, the party was entitled to 17 ministerial posts.

In May, Fiji’s Vice President Jope Seniloli and four other men were indicted for the 2000 coup, led by businessman George Speight, sentenced to life in prison for treason.

Residents of the village of Nabutautau in November invited Australian descendants of Christian missionary Thomas Baker to an unusual ceremony. The villagers apologize to the relatives for killing their ancestors and eating up Baker in 1867. According to the villagers, the cannibal council is the reason why it has rested a curse on the distant and poor village that it is now hoped to be freed from. Prime Minister Qarase also attended the ceremony.

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