Fiji Time: 2:05 PM on Tuesday 1 December

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Hope for timely action

Shalveen Chand
Friday, January 24, 2014

INDEPENDENT political hopeful Roshika Deo has been one of the first few to put their hands up and say that they want to be part of the democratic government which will be chosen later this year.

Ms Deo has been travelling and doing outreach programs getting the thoughts of the public on the elections, the Constitution and the path to democracy.

She is hoping that the appointment of the Electoral Commission will lead to electoral legislations being announced sooner than later.

According to Ms Deo, the electoral rules should have been out so that political parties and candidates are able to properly plan and prepare for elections.

"The continuous unreasonable delay, in effect, puts campaigns and candidates at a disadvantage and does not accord candidates information enabling them to be able to fairly contest elections," Ms Deo said.

"A few months ago the Attorney-General had clarified that intended independent candidates do not have to go through the onerous registration process as political parties however they would be still required to fulfil the stipulations in the Political Parties Decree and the Constitution.

"So obviously premised on that we started planning and if now they were to make some new provisions on registration for independent candidates it would be a setback for the community outreach and planning that has been done.

"Furthermore it would be subjectively affecting intended independent candidates because then they would have less time to register and it will be closer to the elections which prejudices the campaign.

"When everyone will be planning for active campaigning, intended independent candidates will be trying to get signatures and registered."

According to the Electoral Commission chair Chen Bunn Young, the electoral legislation is in its final draft and the commission will soon get a chance to peruse it and give their opinions before it can be gazetted.

Ms Deo is hopeful that the government will implement rules and regulations in a timely manner.

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