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PDP: Appoint poll supervisor

Avinesh Gopal
Monday, January 13, 2014

THE People's Democratic Party has urged the Electoral Commission to move swiftly towards the appointment of the Supervisor of Elections.

In a statement, party president Adi Sivia Qoro said PDP acknowledges the appointment of the Electoral Commission as a step in the right direction.

"However, PDP reiterates that the Commission, as guardian of free and fair elections, must be autonomous and independent of any authority for administering all electoral processes," she said.

"As the apex body with the power of superintendence, direction and control of the upcoming 2014 election, PDP contends that all matter to do with the elections must now be transferred to the Commission's office.

"PDP urges the government to adopt a 'hands off' approach for credibility and transparency of the whole processes."

Adi Sivia said PDP notes the appointment of members of the Fiji Electoral Commission.

"However, we will make our views known on the Commission after we see the level of independence and authority enjoyed by it in conduct of their role.

"PDP wants to be assured that the Commission will have all the resources necessary to effectively carry out their duties.

"Now that the Commission is appointed, we urge the Commission to move swiftly towards the appointment of the Supervisor of Elections and putting into motion the election machinery so that Fiji can go to free and fair elections, which is the hallmark of democracy where the will of the people is respected," said Adi Sivia.

The government announced the seven-member Electoral Commission last Thursday, which is being chaired by Lautoka lawyer Chen Bunn Young.

Other members of the Commission are academic Professor Vijay Naidu, electoral expert Father David Arms, civil society activist Alisi Daurewa, playwright Larry Thomas, businessman James Soane and accountant Jenny Seeto.

While announcing the names, Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the commission would work with the Solicitor General's office to appoint a Supervisor of Elections.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also said work on the new electoral legislation was being carried out.

He said the government wanted the legislation to be in place as soon as possible.

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