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Fiji Time: 12:49 PM on Friday 25 April

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Australia welcomes Electoral Commission appointment

Mere Naleba
Saturday, January 18, 2014

THE Australian Government has welcomed the appointment of the Electoral Commission.

Acting Australian High Commissioner to Fiji Glenn Miles said the appointment was another positive step taken by the Fiji Government to move the country forward.

"First of all we welcome the appointment of the Electoral Commission, again another positive step coming after the release of the Constitution last year," Mr Miles said.

"We have continually said we are willing to work with the government as it moves towards elections.

"So we have already demonstrated that commitment by providing two elections experts and we are not alone in that. I know that New Zealand and the EU have already provided experts as well."

Mr Miles said the Australian Government was committed in providing other support to Fiji and stood ready to assist in any way to ensure elections were held later this year.

"Including providing support for the Elections Office and what we are doing is we are working, consulting with the government as we move forward to identify what other opportunities we can provide support in," Mr Miles said.

"There will be a range of opportunities that come up. There will be a range of requirements and needs that we will identify as we progress and we will work with not just the Fiji Government but with the other donors to try and ensure that all the gaps are filled.

"That will be done in a consultative way. We will talk on a frequent basis with the Fiji Government".

He added the Fiji Government had not asked the Australian Government to send elections observers from Australia.

"We have not been asked to send observers nor do we put that forward.

"We look forward to seeing observers attending the elections but we wouldn't necessary expect them to come from Australia," he said.