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PM Modi congratulates Sitiveni Rabuka on his election as PM of Fiji
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday congratulated Sitiveni Rabuka on his election as Prime Minister of Fiji and said he looks forward to working together with the leader to further strengthen the close and long-standing relations between the countries.
"Congratulations @slrabuka on your election as the Prime Minister of Fiji. I look forward to working together to further strengthen the close and long-standing relations between India and Fiji," PM Modi tweeted. On Saturday, Sitiveni Rabuka was elected as Fiji's new Prime Minister, the country's parliament announced, the Chinese state-run English-language news channel CGTN reported. Rabuka, is the leader of the People's Alliance, a political party in Fiji formed in 2021.
Rabuka was elected by 28 votes on the floor of parliament, whereas Fiji First Leader Voreqe Bainimarama garnered 27 votes, CGTN reported.
The announcement was made by the newly-elected Speaker of the Fijian Parliament, Naiqama Lalabalavu. Fiji's Social Democratic Liberal Party joined forces with Rabuka's People's Alliance and the National Federation Party on Friday.
Following the alliance formed, Rabuka clinched victory for the next term, marking the end of 16 years of leadership under Frank Bainimarama who seized power in a 2006 military coup, according to ABC news.
For the first time in 16 years, Fijians are preparing to welcome a new prime minister. The last two democratic elections in Fiji were won by Bainimarama's Fiji First party.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are part of India's engagement with the East. Under Act East Policy, the Indian government has stepped up its efforts to engage with countries in this region.
The landmark initiative, the Forum for India-Pacific Cooperation (FIPIC), was launched under the Act East Policy rubric by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the first FIPIC summit held in Suva, Fiji in November 2014.
The second edition was held in Jaipur in August 2015. (ANI)