Fiji Organizations Offering Voter Education Told To Mind Decree

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CCF ordered to retract unapproved publication

By Shalveen Chand

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, August 5, 2014) – Organisations interested in conducting voter education and voter awareness are to be mindful of their responsibilities under the Electoral Decree, says the Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem.

He said so far 11 organisations had successfully applied for voter education and voter awareness.

"These groups are doing great work around the country and are complementing the Elections Office's voter awareness campaign," said Mr Saneem.

Last week the Elections Office asked an NGO to retract a publication that had not received the necessary approval.

"Last week, we had to ask the Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF) to recall its publication entitled Discussion Paper on Free and Fair Elections, as well as to take down a live feed of the same paper from their website," said Mr Saneem.

"CCF should follow the positive example being set by the other organisations conducting voter education and awareness in the country.

"The approval process is straightforward and simple and the application form can be downloaded from our website."

The process is designed by the Electoral Commission solely to ensure that all the information being disseminated about the election is factual and accurate so that the Fijian people do not receive conflicting messages."

The CCF will have the opportunity to submit its publication for approval.

Under section 115 of the Electoral Decree, any person or organisation that wishes to conduct political debates, hold public forums or panel discussions relating to the election, or publish any materials must first seek approval from the Supervisor or the Electoral Commission.

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