Australia Asked To Coordinate Fiji Election Observer Teams

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AG says all groups will sign ‘terms of reference’ for observations

By Shayal Devi

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 30, 2014) – Fiji has approached Australia to head the team of observer groups during the September 17 general election.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this after meeting the visiting Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Brett Mason, in Sigatoka yesterday.

"They have agreed to do so on the basis that there should be a co-leader as far as observer groups are concerned," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

"So it will be Australia together with another country leading the observer groups. We'll figure out which country very soon."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there would be some regulations to follow while selecting the second co-leader.

"We will prefer to have a country from perhaps a growing democracy. We hope to get some momentum on that next week and work out the terms of reference for the country.

"I understand that some political parties, possibly for the sake of gaining your attention, have been making comments about why there should be a terms of reference.

"Any observer group that comes along to Fiji has a terms of reference. All we are saying is that the terms of reference for the observer groups needs to be something fairly practical and needs to have some definitions in terms of credibility."

"The other point is when you talk about the observer groups, basically we want assessments. These are assessments from which we can all learn from."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said bringing in observer groups was the best way to ensure capacity building for Fijians.

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