Fijians Vote for First Time in 8 Years

Fijians Vote  for First Time  in 8 YearsFijians Vote  for First Time  in 8 Years

Voters in Fiji headed to the polls on Wednesday for the first time in eight years, following a decision by the South Pacific island nation’s military junta that the time was right for a transition back to democratic rule.

Fiji, a tropical idyll about 3,200 km (2,000 miles) east of Australia, has suffered four coups since 1987, the latest in 2006 led by former army chief Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama, whose Fiji First Party had a strong lead heading into the general election.

Voters thronged to the polls, appearing ecstatic about once again choosing their leaders despite the specter of security threats raised by the military and criticism of Bainimarama for using state media to drown out other parties.