The 53-member Commonwealth voted to suspend Fiji because it has failed to schedule elections by October of 2010.
Since independence from the United Kingdom in 1970, there have been four coups in Fiji, two in 1987, one in 2000 and one in late 2006. The military has been either ruling directly, or heavily influencing governments since 1987.
On July 13, 2009, Fiji became the first nation ever to be expelled from the Pacific Islands Forum, for its failure to hold democratic elections by that date.
On September 1, 2009, Fiji became only the second country to be suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations. The action was taken because Commodore Frank Bainimarama refused to hold elections by 2010, elections that the Commonwealth of Nations had demanded after the 2006 coup. He states a need for more time to end a voting system he claims favors ethnic Fijians. Critics claim that he has suspended the constitution and was responsible for human rights violations by arresting and detaining opponents.
Frank Bainimarama announces coup in 2006