General elections were held in Fiji between 4 and 11 April 1987. They marked the first electoral transition of power in Fijian history. Despite receiving just under 50% of the vote, the Alliance Party of longtime Prime Minister, Kamisese Mara was defeated by a coalition of the Fiji Labour Party (contesting a general election for the first time) and National Federation Party, which won 28 seats to the Alliance's 24. The Labour Party's Timoci Bavadra became Prime Minister.
Bavadra's 28-member parliamentary caucus included only seven ethnic Fijians, all of them elected with predominantly Indo-Fijian support from national constituencies. His fourteen-member cabinet included six Fijians, seven Into-Fijians and one European. Effective Indo-Fijian control of the government caused widespread resentment among the ethnic Fijian community, and after less than a month in office, the new government was deposed on 14 May in a coup d'état led by Lieutenant-Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka.
The 52 members of the House of Representatives were elected from two types of constituency, with candidature in each limited to one of three ethnic groups; Fijians, Indo-Fijians and General electors, generally of European or Chinese descent.
Twenty-seven members were elected from communal constituencies (12 Fijians, 12 Indo-Fijians and 3 general) in which voters voted for someone of their own ethnicity, with the remaining twenty-five elected from national constituencies (10 Fijian, 10 Indo-Fijian and 5 general) in which candidature was limited by ethnicity but all registered voters in a constituency could vote for.
|Fijian Nationalist Party||14,484||1.5||0||0|
|Western United Front||8,339||0.9||0||−2|
|National Federation Party-Koya||4,462||0.5||0||New|
|Total ballots cast||250,968||–||–||–|
|Source: Nohlen et al.|
Following the elections Bavadra formed a fourteen member cabinet.
Minister for Public Service
Minister for Fijian Affairs
Minister for Home Affairs
|Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs
Minister for Information
Minister for Justice
|Jai Ram Reddy|
|Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry||Joeli Nacola|
|Minister for Communications, Transport and Works||Ahmed Bhamji|
|Minister for Education, Youth and Sport||Tupeni Baba|
|Minister of Finance and Economic Planning||Mahendra Pal|
|Minister for Foreign Affairs and Civil Aviation||Krishna Datt|
|Minister for Health and Social Welfare||Satendra Nandan|
|Minister for Labour and Immigration||Joeli Kalou|
|Minister for Lands, Energy and Mineral Resources||Mosese Volavola|
|Minister for Trade, Industry and Tourism||Navin Maharaj|
|Minister of State for Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs||Chris Herbert|
|Minister of State for Rural Development, Rehabilitation and Relief||Temo Sukanaivalu|