Fiji. In February, George Speight, who led a coup in Fiji in the spring of 2000, was sentenced to death for treason. Just a few hours later, the sentence was converted to life imprisonment. According to Countryaah website, national day of Fiji is every October 10. Speight had pleaded guilty to the crime, which, according to some analysts, was because he wanted to protect leading ethnic Fijians who supported the coup from being exposed during the trial.
At the coup, Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry was deposed, and several government and parliamentary members were held hostage for several weeks. Chaudhry was the first Indian of India to be elected prime minister.
His successor, Laisenia Qarase, still refused to allow the Indian-dominated Labor Party to take office in the government, despite both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court ruling that he thereby violated the constitution. According to this, all parties that have received more than 10% of the votes must be prepared for seats in the government.
Tensions between Indians and ethnic Fijians continued to be strong. Many Indian tenants, who cultivated sugar cane, had not renewed their contracts after they expired at the turn of the year. Thousands of Indo-Fijians were also said to have left the country.
Prime Minister Qarase was accused in June of voting during the parliamentary elections in 2001. The government rejected the accusations. Qarase’s party Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) received a majority in parliament with a four-seat margin.
During the year, a trial was held against 15 soldiers who had been charged with mutiny for six months after Speight’s coup attempt. The leader of the mutiny, Captain Shane Steve, received life imprisonment, while the others received prison sentences of between 18 months and eight years. Even before the trial, the government had announced plans to abolish the death penalty.