The year 2006 proved to be an eventful one for minority rights protection in Fiji. Despite the Fijian Labour Party, representing the large Indian minority (45 per cent), taking its place in a power-sharing system with the ethnic Fijian Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party, a military coup ousted the government on 5 December. The takeover – Fiji's fourth in two decades – was the culmination of a long impasse between coup leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama and Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase over attempts to offer pardons to conspirators in the 2000 coup and to grant lucrative coastal land ownership to indigenous Fijians. Commodore Bainimarama, himself an indigenous Fijian, said the bills were unfair to the island's ethnic Indian minority. At the time of writing, the island was enjoying a relative calm and the interim government was taking shape, with eight ministers being sworn in to work under Bainimarama who has been declared Prime Minister.

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