1972 Fijian general election

Kamisese Mara National Federation Party Fiji
1972 Fijian general election

← 1966 15–29 April 1972 1977 →

All 52 seats in the House of Representatives
  First party Second party
  Kamisese Mara.jpg Noimage.png
Leader Kamisese Mara Sidiq Koya
Party Alliance NFP
Last election 22 seats 9 seats
Seats won 33 19
Seat change Increase11 Increase10
Popular vote 388,550 241,866
Percentage 57.50% 33.90%

Prime Minister before election

Kamisese Mara

Subsequent Prime Minister

Kamisese Mara

Coat of arms of Fiji.svg
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General elections were held in Fiji between 15 and 29 April 1972,[1] the first since independence from the United Kingdom in 1970. They were characterised by the lack of rancour between racial groups, typical of the 1966 general election and the 1968 by-elections.

The result was a landslide for the Alliance Party of the Prime Minister, Kamisese Mara, which won 33 of the 52 seats, and surprised many observers by capturing almost 25 percent of the Indo-Fijian vote. The Indo-Fijian-dominated National Federation Party led by Sidiq Koya won the remaining 19 seats. The election re-affirmed the political allegiances of the past, with the Alliance Party winning all the Fijian Communal seats with 82% of the vote, as well as all the General Communal seats. The National Federation Party (NFP) won all the Indian Communal sets with 73% of the vote. Voter turnout was 85.2% in the communal seats.

Electoral system

The 52-member House of Representatives consisted of 27 members elected from communal constituencies (12 Fijian, 12 Indo-Fijian and three general electors) and 25 members elected from national constituencies (10 Fijian, 10 Indo-Fijian and five general electors),[2] all elected by first-past-the-post voting.

Voters could cast up to four votes; one in their own communal constituency, and three in their national constituency, in which they voted for a Fijian, Indo-Fijian and general elector candidate.[3]


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Alliance Party 388,550 57.5 33 +10
National Federation Party 241,866 33.9 19 +10
Fijian Independent Party 1,535 0.2 0 New
Independents 43,521 6.4 0 –2
Invalid/blank votes 14,201
Total 689,673 100 52 +16
Total ballots cast 169,126
Registered voters/turnout 205,617 85.5
Source: Nohlen et al.


Following the elections, R. D. Patel of the National Federation Party became Speaker.

Prime Minister Mara carried out a cabinet reshuffle, appointing a new cabinet with 14 ministers, an increase from 12 in the previous government. He appointed two members to the Senate – John Falvey and Penaia Ganilau – to allow them to join the cabinet.[4]

Position Minister
Prime Minister Kamisese Mara
Deputy Prime Minister Edward Cakobau
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests Douglas Walkden-Brown
Attorney General John Falvey
Minister for Commerce, Industries and Co-operatives M. T. Khan
Minister for Communications, Works and Tourism Penaia Ganilau
Minister for Education, Youth and Sport Jone Naisara
Minister for Fijian Affairs Willian Toganivalu
Minister for Finance Charles Stinson
Minister for Health James Shankar Singh
Minister for Labour Jonati Mavoa
Minister for Lands, Mines and Mineral Resources Josua Toganivalu
Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Social Welfare Vijay R. Singh
Minister without Portfolio George Cakobau
Source: Pacific Islands Monthly

See also


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p653 ISBN 0-19-924959-8
  2. ^ Bigger House Pacific Islands Monthly, April 1972, p25
  3. ^ Nohlen et al., p648
  4. ^ Surprise changes in the Cabinet in Fiji Pacific Islands Monthly, June 1972, p13