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Weeklong Parliamentary Elections in Fiji Begin


Voters in Fiji are heading to the polls for the start of a weeklong parliamentary election.

The election got off to a shaky start in some areas when ballot papers arrived late in several polling stations.

The election pits indigenous Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase against Mahendra Chaudhry, an ethnic Indian who was ousted as prime minister in a 2000 coup. Both are predicting victory.

Heading into the elections, Mr. Qarase's Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) party held 37 of parliament's 71 seats. Mr. Chaudhry's Labor party held 28.

Indigenous Fijians account for around 51 percent of the island's population, while ethnic Indians are a minority at 44 percent.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.