Labour Hopes Fiji Regime Won’t Meddle With Elections Body

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FLP’s Chaudhry cites case of former constitutional commission

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 6, 2014) – The leader of Fiji's Labour Party is concerned that the recently appointed Electoral Commission could suffer a similar fate to that of the now disbanded Constitution Commission.

Last month the Fiji government announced a seven-member Electoral Commission to supervise the elections promised for September.

The Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry will be raising a number of issues with the Commission, such as the government issued decrees which he says place severe restrictions on a party's ability to campaign.

Mr Chaudhry hopes the Commission will be able to operate without government interference.

"As you know what happened to the Constitution Commission of Yash Ghai, they were brought in, given a piece of work to do, they did it, then the regime rejected it because they didn't like it so they wrote up their own constitution. We are justifiably concerned that this commission may suffer a similar fate," Chaudhry says.

The Commission has agreed to a meeting with political parties next week to discuss the election.

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