Fiji

Fiji Government ministers sworn in

The FijiFirst government has only slightly reshuffled its front bench after winning another four years in power.

The former head of Fiji's consumer watchdog Premila Kumar takes on the heavyweight portfolios of industry, trade and tourism, local government and housing.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum loses education to Rosy Akbar but retains the role of Attorney General and four other portfolios including economy.

Health has been taken up by newcomer and prominent local surgeon Ifereimi Waqainabete.

Semi-final places on offer in Noumea

Standing in their way is a determined Tongan team who went down to a heavy defeat in the group opener against defending champions New Zealand.

A win today would ease up pressure on Fiji’s ambition of securing a semi-final spot.

Fiji coach Marika Rodu said his team will give everything against Tonga with a spot in the last four is at stake.

“I think we have one shot to qualify into the semi-final against Tonga, we will not take the game lightly, we would like to see that we make it into the semi-finals after Thursday’s game”, the former Suva coach said.

Frank Bainimarama sworn in as Fiji PM

Mr Bainimarama's FijiFirst party will have another four years in power after last week's election.

"I, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama swear that I will be faithful and bare true allegiance for the Republic of Fiji, according to law," Mr Bainimarama said before a gathering of party members, diplomats, senior members of the military and judiciary at the presidential residence, State House.

"And I will obey, observe, uphold and maintain the constitution of the Republic of Fiji, so help me God."

Digicel provides new telemedicine facility for Suva Children’s Hospital

Digicel Founder and Chairman, Denis O’Brien, who was in Fiji last week as part of a tour of Digicel’s Pacific markets, launched the new teleconference facility at the hospital in Suva.

Digicel worked in partnership with the International Women’s Association, a non-profit group to see this milestone project through.

Fijians brave heavy rain to vote in election

Weather warnings are in place for the whole of Fiji as more than 550,000 voters make their way to the polling booths.

It is a public holiday in Fiji, which is going to the polls for just the second time in 12 years.

Voters have a choice of 233 candidates, from six political parties, vying for 51 seats.

Voters have been urged to double check where they are due to vote or risk being turned away.

Two-thousand police have been deployed and the military is on stand-by.

The police chief is warning rumour-mongers not to create unnecessary fear.

Campaign continues after Rabuka found not guilty

Supporters cheered the SODELPA leader, former prime minister and 1987 coup leader Mr Rabuka as he emerged from the Suva Magistrates Court late this morning.

Mr Rabuka was charged by Fiji's Independent Commission Against Corruption under Fiji's political party regulations - for providing a false declaration of his assets, income and liabilities.

If convicted, he would have been out of the running for the 14 November polls.

Fiji goes to the polls on 14 November

Local media report Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama advised President Jioji Konrote to dissolve parliament today.

Bainimarama visited Government House in Suva this morning and he met with President Konrote for about 30 minutes.

Bainimarama returned from New York earlier today.

President Konrote will issue the Writ of Elections on Monday.

 

Photo file. Caption: A voter casts her vote in the 2014 General Elections in Fiji 

     

No tsunami threat after 7.8 earthquake off Fiji

The tremor struck at 3.49am at a depth of 608 kilometres.

It was centred 101 kilometres east-southeast of the capital Suva.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says the earthquake was so deep it is unlikely to make a dangerous tsunami.

There have been no reports of damage.

However, residents in parts of the main island of Viti Levu commented on social media that they were awoken to shaking. 

     

PNG Barras return undefeated

The Barramundis made their dominance show from the very first game when Tony Ura smashed a century of just 47 balls, to guide PNG past 200 against Samoa.

Samoa barely put up a challenge and could only manage 129 in their 20 overs, with Chad Soper picking up 4 wickets - 3 of them coming in one over - for only 10 runs.

Hosts Fiji were next as the Hebou PNG Barramundis played back-to-back matches on the first day, this time falling shy of the 200 run mark by 12 runs.

Magnitude 8.2 earthquake causes minor shake in Tonga

People in Tonga are reporting only minor damage, while the earthquake was widely felt in Fiji, but there are no reports of damage.

The epicentre was 270km east of Levuka in Fiji and 443km west of Neiafu in Tonga and hit just before 1pm.

It didn't trigger a tsunami as it was too deep at 580 kilometres.

Ta Lita Kefu from Nukuʻalofa said she was outside when the earthquake began.