Fiji’s Acting President Issues Writ Of Elections

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Fiji’s Acting President Issues Writ Of Elections Writs must be returned with newly elected MPs by October 1

By Shalveen Chand

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, August 5, 2014) – The writ for the 2014 General Election was issued by the Acting President Chief Justice Anthony Gates to the Fijian Electoral Commission yesterday morning.

This was done in accordance with Section 59 of the Constitution and Section 19 of the Electoral Decree.

"I command you to cause an election to be held according to law of 50 members to sit and vote in parliament," Justice Gates read out.

"And I appoint the sixth hour past noon on the 4th day of August 2014 to be time and the end date before which the registration of voters for the election is to be made.

[PIR editor’s note: The Fiji Times reported that ‘Voter registration centres around the nation were full as people attempted to get registered on the last day for registration for the 2014 General Election. ... As of July 31, 575,957 voters had registered.’]

"And I hereby direct that you must receive nominations of candidates at the Fijian Elections Office situated at 59 High St, Toorak, Suva by 12 noon on the 18th day of August 2014."

Justice Gates said pre-poll voting and postal voting must take place prior to September 17.

Names of the members of parliament have to be endorsed and the writ is to be returned by October 1.

Chairman of the Fijian Elections Office Chen Bunn Young issued the Notice of Nomination later in the afternoon.

Attorney-General and Elections Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the moment was historic.

"This is the first time in our history where we are going to have a one person one vote, one value and where you're not going to have any legal enforcement on ethnic voting and you will have 18-year-olds voting for the very first time too," he said.

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