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NFP welcomes seven

Avinesh Gopal
Thursday, January 16, 2014

THE National Federation Party welcomed the appointment of the Electoral Commission but believes that apart from whatever is in the 2013 Constitution, it does not have much guidelines to do its work.

NFP president Raman Singh said the appointment of the Electoral Commission was a necessary step towards the elections.

"We realise that time is short and September is approaching. We realise that the other processes relating to the elections also have to be done," he said.

"The commission has to work according to the Electoral Decree but at the moment they don't have much apart from what's in the Constitution."

Mr Singh said the commission members were people of calibre and well-known in their different spheres of work.

"We look forward to them working independently towards a free and fair election," he said.

The seven-member commission was announced by Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last Thursday.

Lautoka lawyer Chen Bunn Young is the commission chairman. Other members are 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 commission, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said all members had been apolitical and credible members of the public.

He 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 and that the government wanted the legislation in place as soon as possible.

With the announcement of the commission, some political parties have called for the early appointment of the Supervisor of Elections and the announcement of the electoral legislation.

The registered political parties are: Social Democratic Liberal Party; Fiji Labour Party; NFP; and the People's Democratic Party.

PM Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama stated he would form a party and contest the elections scheduled to be held before the end of September.

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