Five Fiji Opposition Parties Meet With Chair Of Electoral Commission

Group calls on Chandra to implement recommendations from Observers report on 2014 election

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 4, 2017) – Representatives of five political parties met with the chairman of the Electoral Commission, Suresh Chandra yesterday.

Speaking on behalf of the parties, Fiji Labour Party (FLP) leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the first meeting with the commission was to discuss issues of concern to opposition parties in the buildup to the 2018 General Election.

Mr Chaudhry said among the concerns were the implementation of the Multinational Observer Group report on the 2014 elections and those of the Electoral Commission in its 2014 annual report.

"Other matters raised for discussion included the design and numbering of the ballot papers and the issue of one-day polling," he said.

Mr Chaudhry said political parties stressed that the commission must be seen to be independent from the executive arm of government.

"We made it clear that it was the responsibility of the commission to ensure that all electoral laws, regulations and practices are brought in line to deliver free, fair and credible elections. If they are not, they must be changed.

"The whole environment has to be made conducive to ensuring credible elections."

Mr Chandra said the recommendation of the MOG and the 2014 Electoral Commission's annual report were being reviewed by his team.

"The commission will comprehensively review all the reports and recommendations in due course," he said.

"The commission is aware that the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights has also undertaken public consultations on the reports."

The FLP, National Federation Party, People's Democratic Party, Social Democratic Liberal Party and Fiji United Freedom Party were represented at the meeting.

The commission is independent and therefore will analyse the reports in light of the latest amendments and other international standards before it will release its own assessment."

The FLP, National Federation Party, People's Democratic Party, Social Democratic Liberal Party and Fiji United Freedom Party were represented at the meeting.

Fiji Times Online.
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