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Electoral guide

Tevita Vuibau
Thursday, February 14, 2013

THE non-negotiable principles set out by the government will form the core values of the electoral system Fiji uses come the 2014 general elections.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday said: "That (electoral system) is obviously subject to debate before the constituent assembly but as you also know, some of the non-negotiable principles set out by the prime minister is that we need to have one person one vote one value, no ethnic voting and proportional representation."

"That obviously is a guideline with regards to the type of electoral system that we would expect, also in respect of various other guidelines, the peoples charter had put in place a representation in a multi-member constituency, that is obviously something that's on the floor."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the constituent assembly would also consider the merits of closed list and open list election systems.

"For those of you who may not be aware, an open list system is far more democratic than a closed list system and as you know that most of the political parties that made submissions to the Ghai Commission wanted a closed list system," he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said an open list system offered voters a chance to choose their candidates individually. This, he added was opposed to the closed list system that allowed political parties to choose which candidates received the votes of the people.

"If you have a closed list system, you just go and tick the party and the party decides which 30 candidates go in, an open list system you actually choose the candidate you want, you may choose five from this party, 10 from another party so have quite a bit of choice," he said. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said those were all ideas floating around and more would be known after deliberations by the constituent assembly.


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