A Fiji-pro-democracy group says the influence of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is likely to continue even if he doesn't win an election this year.
Commodore Bainimarama says he will stand down as head of the military in March this year so he can run for Prime Minister.
Sai Lealea, a spokesperson for the Fiji Pro Democracy Movement in Wellington, says the decision to resign is a long time coming, but with any election, there is no guarantee he will win.
Mr Lealea says before then, Mr Bainimarama has the powers to appoint his supporters to key positions, including his replacement in the military.
The promised elections will be the first since the military coup in 2006.