QARASE SCHEDULES FIJI ELECTIONS FOR MAY

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 1) – General Elections in Fiji this year have been scheduled for early May, following an announcement by Prime Minister Lasenia Qarase today.

This ends months of speculation on whether Fiji should prepare for an early election with the Elections Office distributing the provisional roll late last month.

In an Information Ministry statement, Qarase declared May 6 as the beginning of the general elections with polls closing on May 13.

His announcement follows yesterday's proclamation by Acting President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi that Parliament is to be dissolved on March 27.

The statement said the Elections Office requested an additional FJ$7.6million [US$4.3 million] from the Fiji Government for the elections.

This is to be provided by the Finance Ministry's coffers sourced from their existing budget.

Late last month Elections Supervisor Semesa Karavaki announced that his office was prepared for early polls.

March 2, 2006

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

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