Prime Minister of Samoa, Fiamè Naomi Mata’afa, on behalf of the Government and the people of Samoa, extended her warmest congratulations to Sitiveni Rabuka for being elected as Fiji’s new Prime Minister, Fiji times reported.
“Your election as leader of the multi-party coalition demonstrates the confidence and trust of your people in your deep-rooted leadership,” Ms Mata’afa said.
“I look forward to working closely with you to further enhance and strengthen the friendship, cooperation and partnership between our two countries as well as advancing regionalism in our Blue Pacific continent through the 2050 Strategy.”
Rabuka took the oath of office as Fiji’s new prime minister last week, after narrowly winning confirmation to the post through a secret ballot among parliamentarians, sealing an end to incumbent Frank Bainimarama’s 16-year rule, news agencies reported.
Rabuka, 74, a former PM and two-time military coup leader, returns to head the government of the tiny Pacific island nation, which finds itself in the middle of a tug-of-war between great powers vying for regional influence.
The ex-army officer clinched the nomination to the prime minister’s post by a margin of one vote over Bainimarama during a special sitting of Fijian parliamentarians earlier on Saturday, news reports said.