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Preferential voting and Political Engineering: The case of Fiji's 1999 and 2001 general elections

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The foundation for a new political order was laid in Fiji after the successful endorsement of the 1997 Constitutional Amendment Act in July 1997, which put in place a preferential voting system replacing the decades-old First-Past-the-Post (FPP) system. The preferential voting system, also known as alternative vote (AV) system, was adopted in order to strengthen democratic rule in Fiji. It was a significant departure from the past since the new Constitution allowed inter-party co-operation and gave a majoritarian character to the electoral process. However, at the time of implementation, little was known about how this system would work in Fiji and whether it would give acceptable results. The analysis of the results of Fiji's 1999 and 2001 general elections shows that under the AV system of voting final election results can vary considerably as a result of the behaviour of political parties.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Economics The University of the South Pacific Suva Fiji Islands

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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