An academic researching Fiji's political history says the leaders showed clever political clout in the lead-up to this year's election.
Dr Scott MacWilliam, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, says the international community underestimated Frank Bainimarama.
Fiji recently told the United Nations the 2013 Constitution was the "will of the people" despite it being a product of the regime, following its dumping of a draft constitution that drew on public input.
Dr MacWilliam says the constitution was simply designed to bring about the outcome that occurred.
"The Australian constitution did not reflect the will of the people, it was a relatively small group of upper-class males who put together the Australian constitution. The Fiji constitution of 2013 is almost exactly the same, so it's neither better nor worse than almost every constitution I know. So 'will of the people' is a slogan, in my eyes."
Dr Scott MacWilliam from the Australian National University.