Fiji coup leader for historic victory

There has been excitement among thousands of voters as Fijians cast ballots in a landmark election. (AAP)

With 70 per cent of the vote counted following Wednesday's poll, Voreqe Bainimarama's Fiji First Party has 60.1 per cent.

Coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama is on the verge of becoming Fiji's first elected leader in eight years, with international observers giving the ballot a stamp of approval.

With 70 per cent of the vote counted following Wednesday's poll, Bainimarama's Fiji First Party had 60.1 per cent, well clear of nearest rival, the Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa) on 26.7.

"This was a credible election," said a statement issued on Thursday from the 92-member panel drawn from 13 countries around the world as well as the European Union.

"While counting is ongoing and the results are yet to be finalised, we assess that the outcome is on track to broadly represent the will of the Fijian voters."

The election was conducted "in an atmosphere of calm, with an absence of electoral misconduct or evident intimidation".

Pacific regional powerhouses Australia and New Zealand, who led global condemnation of Bainimarama following the coup, described the ballot as a "significant event".

"All early indications are that the conditions were in place for the people of Fiji to exercise their right to vote freely," New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully noted.

Although Bainimarama was accused of human rights abuses and the Pacific nation subjected to international sanctions after he seized control in a 2006 coup, Brij Lal, a Fiji political analyst based at the Australian National University, said the outcome was no surprise.

"He had all the advantages of incumbency, name recognition, a public profile, media on his side, campaigning on the public purse, and a desire on the part of the voters for stability, which he promised," Lal said.

But despite the country returning to democracy, the military maintain a strong presence and opposition parties cancelled a planned election review after soldiers turned up.

Sodelpa and other opposition parties were to have met on Thursday at a Suva hotel to discuss their response to Fiji First's overwhelming lead.

However, the meeting was cancelled at the last minute when soldiers arrived at the venue.

"This meeting cannot go ahead because there are two military personnel in the hotel," prominent Fiji political analyst Wadan Narsey told reporters.

Fiji's military commander Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga said before the election the armed forces would be on standby until a new government is sworn in to ensure "the security, defence and well-being" of the Pacific island nation.

Bainimarama had repeatedly delayed a return to democracy while he reworked Fiji's constitution, developed the economy and, as an indigenous Fijian, made himself popular with the Indian minority by focusing on easing ethnic tensions.

Although there has been no word from him since voting began, the Fiji Sun said he was happy with the results thus far but waiting for the final count before commenting.

Complete results are not expected until the weekend but the ongoing count indicated Bainimarama's Fiji First would rule without the need of coalition support.

About half a million of Fiji's 900,000 population were registered to vote in the first election since he led a bloodless coup in 2006, the fourth time the Fijian government had been overthrown in less than 20 years.

Election supervisor Mohammed Saneem said there was a high turnout as voters walked, drove and even rode on horseback to about 1000 polling stations across the 300 islands.

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