This paper examines the historical background and conduct of recent elections in two small island nations in Asia-Pacific, Fiji and the Maldives. It assesses the situation of democracy prior to elections, and afterwards in 2020–2021. This paper seeks to contribute towards filling the gap in literature, with regards to comparative case studies on electoral authoritarianism in small island states. The two nations with dissimilar history, religion, ethnicity and geology, held national elections in 2018. Fiji comprising volcanic and limestone islands with a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population is located in the Pacific Ocean. The Maldives with lowest lying coral atolls, and a homogeneous population of one ethnicity and one religion Islam, is located in the Indian Ocean. The elections were conducted under differing circumstances of electoral authoritarian rule in the aftermath of multiparty elections, with repression in the Maldives increasing, and repression in Fiji easing. But the 2018 election results saw a return to transition to democracy in the Maldives. Conversely in Fiji, the electoral authoritarian government was re-elected. Challenges to democracy remained unchanged in both nations during the COVID-19 pandemic.