Fiji Time: 1:33 PM on Wednesday 2 December

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Polls need to be credible

Shalveen Chand
Friday, January 17, 2014

THE elections need to happen in a credible manner and there is a need to ensure it's not a dodgy one, said Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, when the Electoral

Commission met for the first time yesterday afternoon.

The commission met yesterday minus one, Professor Vijay Naidu, who is abroad but according to commission chair Chen Bunn Young, he will be kept in the loop.

Mr Young said while a lot of work had been done, a lot was still to be achieved with the appointment of the Supervisor of Elections.

The members of the commission were given various reports by consultants, the Commonwealth, EU and the New Zealand Government.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the commission would take over the running of the Elections Office until the Supervisor of Elections was appointed.

No time frame has been given for the appointment.

"We have something in mind," Mr Young said.

"It's too premature to say at this point in time that we will do it in two weeks.

"Obviously we will try to do it as early as we can.

"We have a very active role in his appointment. We are not here to rubber stamp something.

"We will vet it. We expect the government to consult us and we have no doubt that they will.

"And we will give our opinion on who we think is suitable for the position."

Mr Young said the commission was headed in the right direction.

As for the electoral legislation, the commission will read the final draft, comment on it and make suggestions.

There has also been no time frame set yet for the legislation, however, according to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, it is in the final draft mode.

He said the commission could function without a regulation.

Mr Young said the commission as an independent body, would take its time to meet with those drafting the legislation as well.

With elections set for this year, the first real thing for the commission will be to visit the elections office and then decide on times to meet in the coming weeks.

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