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Fiji Facts
• Introduction
• People
• Government
• Communications
• Transportation
• Military
• Transnational Issues

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Introduction Fiji
Background:
Fiji became independent in 1970, after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987, caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). The coups and a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control of Fiji, led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties, but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian, but a civilian-led coup in May 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE. Re-elected in May 2006, QARASE was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA, who initially appointed himself acting president. In January 2007, BAINIMARAMA was appointed interim prime minister.
People Fiji
Population:
918,675 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 30.9% (male 144,665/female 138,816)
15-64 years: 64.7% (male 297,709/female 296,897)
65 years and over: 4.4% (male 18,397/female 22,191) (2007 est.)
Median age:
total: 24.9 years
male: 24.4 years
female: 25.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.394% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:
22.37 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:
5.66 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:
-2.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.042 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.003 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.829 male(s)/female
total population: 1.006 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 11.99 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.12 years
male: 67.6 years
female: 72.76 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.7 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Fijian(s)
adjective: Fijian
Ethnic groups:
Fijian 51% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 44%, European, other Pacific Islanders, Chinese, and other 5% (1998 est.)
Religions:
Christian 52% (includes Methodist 37%, Roman Catholic 9%), Hindu 38%, Muslim 8%, other 2%
note: Fijians are mainly Christian, Indians are Hindu, and there is a Muslim minority
Languages:
English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.7%
male: 95.5%
female: 91.9% (2003 est.)
Government Fiji
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of the Fiji Islands
conventional short form: Fiji
local long form: Republic of the Fiji Islands/Matanitu ko Viti
local short form: Fiji/Viti
Government type:
republic
Capital:
name: Suva (on Viti Levu)
geographic coordinates: 18 08 S, 178 25 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
4 divisions and 1 dependency*; Central, Eastern, Northern, Rotuma*, Western
Independence:
10 October 1970 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, second Monday of October (1970)
Constitution:
enacted on 25 July 1997 to encourage multiculturalism and make multiparty government mandatory; effective 28 July 1998
Legal system:
based on British system
Suffrage:
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ratu Josefa ILOILOVATU Uluivuda (since 18 July 2000); note - ILOILOVATU was reaffirmed as president by the Great Council of Chiefs in a statement issued on 22 December, and reappointed by the coup leader Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA in January 2007
head of government: Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE (since 10 September 2000); note - although QARASE is still the legal prime minister, he has been confined to his home island; the president appointed Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA interim prime minister under the military regime
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among the members of Parliament and is responsible to Parliament; note - coup leader Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA has appointed an interim cabinet
elections: president elected by the Great Council of Chiefs for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); prime minister appointed by the president; election last held 8 March 2006
election results: Ratu Josefa ILOILOVATU Uluivuda elected president by the Great Council of Chiefs; percent of vote - NA
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (32 seats; 14 appointed by the president on the advice of the Great Council of Chiefs, 9 appointed by the president on the advice of the Prime Minister, 8 on the advice of the Opposition Leader, and 1 appointed on the advice of the council of Rotuma) and the House of Representatives (71 seats; 23 reserved for ethnic Fijians, 19 reserved for ethnic Indians, 3 reserved for other ethnic groups, 1 reserved for the council of Rotuma constituency encompassing the whole of Fiji, and 25 open seats; members serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 6-13 May 2006 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - SDL 44.6%, FLP 39.2%, UPP 0.8%, independents 4.9%, other 10.5%; seats by party - SDL 36, FLP 31, UPP 2, independents 2
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); Court of Appeal; High Court; Magistrates' Courts
Political parties and leaders:
Dodonu Ni Taukei Party or DNT [Fereti S. DEWA]; Fiji Democratic Party or FDP [Filipe BOLE] (a merger of the Christian Democrat Alliance or VLV [Poesci Waqalevu BUNE], Fijian Association Party or FAP, Fijian Political Party or SVT (primarily Fijian) [Sitiveni RABUKA], and New Labor Unity Party or NLUP [Ofa SWANN]); Fiji Labor Party or FLP [Mahendra CHAUDHRY]; General Voters Party or GVP (became part of United General Party); Girmit Heritage Party or GHP; Justice and Freedom Party or AIM; Lio 'On Famor Rotuma Party or LFR; National Federation Party or NFP (primarily Indian) [Pramond RAE]; Nationalist Vanua Takolavo Party or NVTLP [Saula TELAWA]; Party of National Unity or PANU [Ponipate LESAVUA]; Party of the Truth or POTT; United Fiji Party/Sogosogo Duavata ni Lewenivanua or SDL [Laisenia QARASE]; United Peoples Party or UPP [Millis Mick BEDDOES]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
ACP, AsDB, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, OPCW, PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jesoni VITUSAGAVULU
chancery: 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 240, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 337-8320
FAX: [1] (202) 337-1996
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Larry Miles DINGER
embassy: 31 Loftus Street, Suva
mailing address: P. O. Box 218, Suva
telephone: [679] 331-4466
FAX: [679] 330-0081
Flag description:
light blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Fijian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield depicts a yellow lion above a white field quartered by the cross of Saint George featuring stalks of sugarcane, a palm tree, bananas, and a white dove
Communications Fiji
Telephones - main lines in use:
102,000 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
142,200 (2004)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern local, interisland, and international (wire/radio integrated) public and special-purpose telephone, telegraph, and teleprinter facilities; regional radio communications center
domestic: NA
international: country code - 679; access to important cable links between US and Canada as well as between NZ and Australia; satellite earth stations - 2 INMARSAT (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 13, FM 40, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios:
541,476 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
NA
Televisions:
88,110 (1999)
Internet country code:
.fj
Internet hosts:
8,987 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)
Internet users:
61,000 (2004)
Transportation Fiji
Airports:
28 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 25
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 18 (2006)
Railways:
total: 597 km
narrow gauge: 597 km 0.600-m gauge
note: belongs to the government-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation; used to haul sugarcane during harvest season (May to December) (2005)
Roadways:
total: 3,440 km
paved: 1,692 km
unpaved: 1,748 km (1999)
Waterways:
203 km
note: 122 km navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges (2004)
Merchant marine:
total: 7 ships (1000 GRT or over) 15,867 GRT/8,432 DWT
by type: passenger 3, passenger/cargo 2, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 1 (Australia 1) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Lambasa, Lautoka, Suva
Military Fiji
Military branches:
Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF): Land Forces, Naval Forces (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 215,104
females age 18-49: 212,739 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 163,960
females age 18-49: 178,714 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 9,266
females age 18-49: 8,916 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$36 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.2% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Fiji
Disputes - international:
none

This page was last updated on 17 April, 2007


 

Source: CIA World Factbook










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