New chapter for Fiji - Rabuka to lead coalition

There were jubilant scenes in Suva overnight as the kingmaker in Fiji's general election, the Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa) declared it was partnering with the People's Alliance (PA) and the National Federation Party (NFP) to form a new coalition government to end FijiFirst's eight-year reign.

The decision was made in a secret ballot by Sodelpa's 30-member management board - 16 voted in favour of the PA-NFP alliance and 14 for FijiFirst - after three days of intense negotiations.

Fiji's SODELPA says back to the drawing board on coalition talks

Following almost four hours of politicking which started at 10.30am local time, party leader Viliame Gavoka emerged from the meeting to declare no deal had been made.

"Let me once again stress that we fully understand and appreciate the challenge that is with us at Sodelpa to decide how this country will be governed for the next four years," an emotional Gavoka told the media in Suva.

"We fully understand the significance of this. We are committed to ensuring that our decision who governs this country will be done for the best interest of our people."

Sodelpa youth arm begs party to rule out coalition with 'dictator' Bainimarama

Speaking to media in Suva on Sunday, leader Viliame Gavoka said the party had 14 days to consider its options.

"We are not in any hurry, we understand the importance of this, but we're not going to rush. We are going to do this properly but with urgency," he said.

RNZ Pacific has seen a copy of the letter in which the Sodelpa Youth Council expressed their "distaste" to the party's main decision-making board for "agreeing to consider" Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama's FijiFirst as a potential partner.

Fiji’s Opposition Party, SODELPA congratulates Samoa’s new PM

SODELPA party leader, Viliame Gavoka said, “Hon. Mata’afa has served her people well. She is commended as a long serving member of Parliament, became the first female Cabinet Minister, holding various Ministerial portfolios and rose to be Deputy Prime Minister. She is a role model for women, not only in Samoa, but the Pacific, and as a “Matai’, she is a revered Leader of her people. “

SODELPA congratulated the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa Ua Tasi (FAST) Party for their successful election victory and looks forward to strengthening bilateral relations between Fiji and Samoa.

Fiji's opposition leader Sitiveni Rabuka resigns as member of Parliament

Rabuka made the announcement while delivering his response to the opening address by the President Jioji Konrote in Parliament this morning.

The former Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader said his resignation as a member of Parliament would make way for the president to ask the prime minister to work with the new leader of the opposition and members of the opposition.

Opposition whip Lynda Tabuya said she supported Rabuka's move.

Rabuka and Tabuya had both contested the party leader and deputy positions last week respectively but lost.

Call for Fiji 7s team to be rewarded

Fiji beat France 21-7 in Sunday night's cup final to clinch a record extending fifth consecutive Hong Kong title.

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka said it was an incredible victory to savour and that it was only fitting the players and coaching staff each received $US4,700 in recognition of their unprecedented success.

"Our sevens gladiators go from strength to strength and I join other Fijians in expressing our pride and gratitude for their spectacular performance in Hong Kong," he said.