I congratulate Fiji for holding its national election on 14 November, Fiji’s second since its return to parliamentary democracy in September 2014.

I congratulate Prime Minister Bainimarama on his re-election. The Australian Government looks forward to continuing to work with his Government to further strengthen our bonds of friendship and cooperation.

I welcome too the interim statement of the Multinational Observer Group released on Friday, which noted that electoral processes to date had been transparent and credible, and that Fijian voters had been able to exercise their democratic right to vote freely.

I thank the Multinational Observer Group, co-chaired by the Hon Jane Prentice MP of Australia, Chief Electoral Officer of the State of Assam, Mr Mukesh Chandra Sahu of India and Special Advisor on Management Affairs to Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, H.E. Wajid Fauzi of Indonesia, for all its hard work.

The Group consisted of 77 observers from ten countries, as well as representatives of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Australia is proud to have been represented strongly in the Group.

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