Coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama claims victory in Fiji poll

Fiji coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama declared himself the Pacific nation`s new prime minister Sunday, four days after the country`s first democratic election in eight years.

AFP| Last Updated: Sep 21, 2014, 07:36 AM IST

Suva: Fiji coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama declared himself the Pacific nation`s new prime minister Sunday, four days after the country`s first democratic election in eight years.

Although the final vote count has not been released, provisional results show Bainimarama`s Fiji First Party heading towards a clear victory.

"My fellow Fijians, as you know Fiji First has won the general elections and I will lead the new government to serve the nation," he told thousands of cheering supporters gathered in a sports stadium.

"I am deeply honoured and humbled that the Fijian people have put their trust in me to lead them into our new and true democracy."

Bainimarama`s victory declaration came after the Fiji Electoral Office showed Fiji First with 59.1 percent support after votes had been counted at 88 percent of the polling booths.

The Social Democratic Liberal Party was a distant second at 28.3 percent.

Although opposition parties have complained of voting irregularities, a multi-national observer group in Fiji to scrutinise the poll labelled it "credible" and representing the will of the people.

The 60-year-old Bainimarama seized power in a bloodless coup in December 2006 saying he needed to end widespread corruption and root out entrenched discrimination against ethnic Indians, who make up about 40 percent of the 900,000 population.