Peace - Justice - Freedom - Democracy



History of Fiji Labour Party


Chronological history
Bavadra's legacy
Party launch 1985

Chronological history

July 6th 1985 The Fiji Labour Party was launched on under the aegis of the Fiji Trades Union Congress to fight the Alliance Party's growing insensitivity towards the plight of the workers and the poor. Held at Fijian Teacher Union (FTU) hall attended by FTUC executives, politicians, professionals and a record number of people.
April 1987 The Fiji Labour Party in coalition with National Federation Party won the General elections with an overwhelming majority. This was the first time in history of Fiji that a party apart from the ruling alliance had won the general elections so convincingly. There was a real optimism in the country and the majority of people were looking forward to the new Government.
April 13th 1987 The Fiji Labour Party President and Leader sworn in as Fiji's second Prime Minister and Minister for Public Service and Fijian Affairs.
End of April 1987 The swearing in of the Fiji Labour Party and NFP coalition Government Ministers. The Government later went on to waive the hospital fees that is still practised today and other significant decisions were taken within a month in office.
May 14th 1987 The coalition government is deposed and the cabinet and members of the government are held hostage for 7 days.
June 1987 A delegation led by Fiji Labour Party Leader for the restoration of democracy in Fiji begins and discussions are held with Sir William Heseltine, the Queen's Private Secretary, the commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Shirdath Ramphal. The visit is followed over the course by meetings with the heads of governments, trade unions and political leaders from Australia, New Zealand, India, United States, Canada, Papua New Guinea, and New Caledonia.
September 1987 The Fiji Labour Party Leader leads a delegation of his deposed colleagues in discussions with the defeated Alliance party headed by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. A political solution is found in the Deuba Accord. Signed on September 23, 1987, it is based on an agreement between the deposed government and the Alliance to share power.
September 25th 1987  A second military coup takes place. The Labour Party Leader, Bavadra along with many of his colleagues and sympathisers are again arrested and held in detention at the Naboro Prison about 30 kilometres from Suva.
May 14th 1988 Activists for democracy arrested at Sukuna Park at the first anniversary of the coup, among them Dr. Atu Bain and Dr. Vijay Naidu.
Sep 1987 - 1989 The fight for restoration of democracy continues with Fiji Labour Party leading the way. May 14th is declared a black day in the history of Fiji and black bands are worn in remeberence and protest of the dreadful day. Various meetings are held with institutions and leaders of others countries as well as the Commonwealth.
November 3rd 1989 The leader of Fiji Labour Party is taken ill and expires. Record 60,000 people attended the great leaders funeral with schools being closed for the day in his respect.
1990 - 1992 Fiji Labour Party faces tough times during the years but still manages to fight for restoration of democracy and leads a very meaningful protest against the 1990 constitution. Protests against the 1990 Constitution lead to the burning of the Constitution during Diwali by some members of the Party.
1992 Fiji Labour Party, despite struggling manages to win 7 seats in the House of Representatives and together with other parties forms a very formidable Opposition. Mr. Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi is the youngest MP in the House of Representative.
June 1993 The Labour Leader, Mr. Mahendra Pal Chaudhry leads a workout of the parliament when the Prime Minister, Rabuka fails to honour a pact made just after the 1992 General elections.
October 1993 Dr. Kanhaiya Simadri Naidu, a dedicated and active party stalwart passed away.
1994 Snap elections held and Fiji Labour Party again wins 7 seats and remains in the Opposition.
June 29th 1994 Mr. Shiromani Madhwan succumbed to failing health which kept him in hospital both here and abroad for many weeks before his death.
1994 Labour Party MP's, Mahendra Chaudhry, Krishna Datt and Hardayal Singh are appointed to the Constitution Review Parliamentary Select Committee.
August 1994 Labasa By-election held after the untimely death of NFP Parliamentarian, Shree Ramlu. FLP and NFP agreed on a compromised candidate Munsami Chinnakannu. Elected unopposed.
May 8th 1995 The party was shocked by the untimely death of Hardayal Singh in a car accident just two weeks before the Delegates Conference. Haradayal had won his parliamentary seat in the 1994 general election, defeating NFP President, Balwant Singh Rakka.
1997 The new Constitution was adopted after extensive consultation with all parties.
1998 Fiji Labour Party entered into a coalition with Fijian Association Party headed by Adi Kuini Speed, and Party of National Unity, headed by Tui Ba, Ratu Sairusi Nagagavoka, to fight the upcoming 1999 general elections.
May 1999 Fiji Labour Party wins the majority of 37 seats and together with its coalition 52 seats out of possible 71 seats.
September 1999 Fiji Labour Leader and for the first time in Fiji's democratic history, a Fiji-born Indian, Mr. Mahendra Pal Chaudhry is sworn in as the Prime Minister of Republic of the Fiji Islands.
September 1999 Peoples Coalition Government Cabinet sworn in with the Dr. Tupeni Baba and Adi Kuini Speed as the deputy Prime Ministers.

Coalition Government Cabinet 1999

May 19th 2000 A band of terrorists led by failed businessman George Speight storms the parliament with the help of Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit soldiers and takes the government and its members hostage. The members of People's Coalition Government were held for 56 days before they were released.
April 2000  Fiji's first ever-political refugee camp emerged amidst continued terrorism by the Muaniweni and Dawasamu landowners. The police and the Army are unable to contain the continued terrorist acts and the tenant community flee leaving everything behind.

Hostage Labour Party parliamentarians May 2000

August 2000  The Peoples Coalition Government hostages are released.
November 2001  Landmark victory at the Fiji Labour Party backed Chandrika Prasad appeals case whereby Fiji Court of Appeal judgement ruled in favour and upheld the 1997 Constitution.
August 2001  The general elections saw the return of the majority of the Fiji Labour Party back in the House of Representatives. However, a new Party led by Laisenia Qarase in coalition with nationalistic Matanitu Vanua forms the government.
September 2001  SDL government fails to uphold the Constitution and the spirit of reconciliation by omitting Fiji Labour Party from the Cabinet. Fiji Labour Party mounts a challenge in the Court against its omission from the Cabinet.
2001 Opposition Leader rejects four nominees from the eight submitted by the Fiji Labour Party and appoints his four. Fiji Labour Party again challenges the decision in Court.
October 2001  Nadi Open candidate Mr. Krishna Prasad mount a legal challenge against the Opposition Leader, stating that Mr. Prasad should be the legal representative of that Constituency. Similar cases are filed in Suva by FLP candidates, Mrs Lavenia Padarath, Joeli Kalou and John Ali. Judgement pending.
February 2002  Krishna Prasad of Labour Party wins the case and is declared the elected candidate of Nadi Open Constituency. Opposition Leader appeals for a stay order against the decision even though there is no jurisdiction on the decision of the High Court. Appeal pending.
March 2002  The Appeals Court rules that the Opposition Leaders nomination is unconstitutional and the President should call fresh nomination.
April 2002  Chief Justice grants the Opposition Leader an extension on the stay order amidst growing controversy.
April 2002  The High rules in favour of Fiji Labour Party stating that FLP should be included in the Cabinet. SDL contemplates appealing.
April 2002  Seven Fiji Labour Party Senators sworn in the Upper House of Representatives.

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