He did NOT "EXIT", he was told by his co-coup conspirator Ratu Inoke Kubuabola to step down; as he exited the racist returned to his 1987 language warning Indo-Fijians: "The indigenous Fijian community cannot continue to be expected to be accommodating when there is no just and fair reciprocation from the other communities." As his biographer has put it: "He [Rabuka] was returning to the language of pre-1997, where positions had been taken on race rather than politics. Now the result of the politics he had fought for so hard to put in place was forcing him to revert to the racial position. The irony of it was not wasted on his military mind, but his feeling was one of deep disappointment". He blamed the Indo-Fijians for his humiliating defeat and exit from politics in 1999. He later became chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs. We will write one these days his role following the overthrow of the Chaudhry government
Number Crunch, Fiji Times, 18 February 2017
LEADERS of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and the National Federation Party (NFP) are optimistic that Fijians want a change of government in the next general election.
Despite the Tebbutt-Times poll revealing that Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama remained the top choice for PM if Fiji held the general election tomorrow, SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka believes Fijians were still looking for a change in the country's leadership.
"I am humbled and pleased with the 11 per cent preference for PM in a three-way poll because some Fijians still consider me worthy of their consideration, 19 years after I exited from political life in 1999," he said.
Mr Rabuka said according to the poll, the 36 per cent Fijians who were still undecided about who they wanted to see succeed as the PM gave hope to other political leaders that Mr Bainimarama was not the only one in the race.
"The 36 per cent undecided shows that Fijians are still looking for and actually want a change in leadership, gives me, SODELPA and other opposition political parties hope that after a very high profile leadership run of 11 years, Bainimarama has not been able to convince them that he is the prime minister they need," he said.
NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad, who was the third choice as the preferred PM with 1 per cent support, said polls were important but in the current context it was a minor issue compared with what he had set out for the party to do, culminating into the general election next year.
"Despite the fact that the results are not similar to the approval ratings each leader received, it is interesting to know that a significant percentage of voters are undecided, at least 15 months away from when the next elections could be held," Prof Prasad said.
He said he would continue to articulate the views, concerns and grievances of all people of Fiji, particularly rising unemployment, increasing cost of living, deteriorating public health system and infrastructure, the plight of victims of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston and flash floods, and lack of good governance, transparency and accountability.
"And I will continue to highlight fundamental flaws in our laws, particularly the Electoral Act, Political Parties Act, the Media Industry Development Act and the 2013 Constitution in the hope that they are changed because they do not provide a platform to have a genuinely credible, free and fair elections."
Prof Prasad said the ultimate poll would be at the ballot box in 2018.
Several attempts to get a comment from Mr Bainimarama on Thursday and Friday remained unsuccessful.
According to the poll, Mr Bainimarama was chosen by 44 per cent of those surveyed and held a higher proportion than the nearest competitor across gender, ethnicity, age and all geographic divisions.
This year's poll was conducted from February 4-7 by internationally-accredited world market researcher Tebbutt Research from a national sample of 982 adults 18 years and over.
Those interviewed were asked the question: "If there was an election held in Fiji tomorrow, who would you prefer to see succeed as prime minister?"