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SUVA, Fiji Islands (June 2, 2001 – Radio Australia)---The interim government has agreed to permit foreign representatives to observe August 25 - September 1 national elections that will return Fiji to democracy.

The caretaker regime, established by the military after last year’s May 19 civilian coup attempt, has endorsed the participation of the United Nations Commonwealth Secretariat and the European Union.

Earlier, the U.S. proposed that the Carter Center in Georgia assist in ensuring free and fair elections, but the offer was not accepted.



SUVA, Fiji Islands (June 1, 2001 – Radio Australia)---The August elections in Fiji will see 25 new polling stations, bringing the total number of polling centers to 780.

This is an increase of 25 additional stations when compared to the 1999 elections.

Election supervisor Walter Rigamoto said the new polling stations will be mainly concentrated in the greater Suva area.

"It’s one of the ways of easing the queues. That's one aspect. The other is having more streams in polling stations; sometimes the polling stations have only two streams.

"This time we will have three or four in areas where there are long queues.

"The other thing is that we will be using computers in those polling stations.

"We will run people through as quickly as possible," Mr. Rigamoto said.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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