Title: The Republic of Fiji

Population: 939,535

Population Change: 0.73

National Average Age: 28

Urban Percentage: 59

Christian Population: 540,000

Christian Percentage: 64.4

Introduction: 'Fiji a country in the South Pacific is an archipelago of more than 300 islands. It''s famed for rugged landscapes palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons. Its major islands Viti Levu and Vanua Levu contain most of the population. Viti Levu is home to the capital Suva a port city with British colonial architecture. The Fiji Museum in the Victorian-era Thurston Gardens has ethnographic exhibits.'

Overview: Fiji became independent in 1970 after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987 caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). The coups and a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control of Fiji led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian but a civilian-led coup in 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE. Reelected in May 2006 QARASE was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA who initially appointed himself acting president but in January 2007 became interim prime minister. Following years of political turmoil long-delayed legislative elections were held in September 2014 that were deemed \"credible\" by international observers and that resulted in BAINIMARAMA being reelected.