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Fiji Time: 12:47 PM on Friday 25 April

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1-day poll 'achievable'

Tevita Vuibau
Monday, February 17, 2014

THE Australian Government believes that while a single day election will be a monumental undertaking, Fiji is well capable of doing this,

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that there were many things to consider when conducting an election in one day.

"We understand that the government wishes to hold elections on a single day and that hasn't occurred before," Ms Bishop said.

"Therefore there are a number of challenges but I believe that the government recognises those challenges, the electoral commission will need to be well resourced.

"The elections office will need to be well resourced and there are the matters including voter registration and voter identification.

However she said the confidence shown by the people especially in the registration process showed that a single day election were more than just a possibility.

"But that's my point about the number of people that have already registered — that to me indicates a wide degree of support for the holding of an election.

"And therefore voters are likely to be keen to vote so the fact that it's being held in one day presents challenges but it's certainly achievable."

Ms Bishop visited the country with the Ministerial Contact Group chaired by her New Zealand counterpart Murray McCully who also praised Fiji's progress towards an election.

"First of all we have recognised the very substantial progress that has been made with preparations for elections, not just the Constitution and the framework but also the substantial electoral enrolment program and all the work that has gone into getting the electoral office ready to prepare for elections," Mr McCully said

"We've welcomed the work that has been done and we've reaffirmed our commitment to ongoing support as that process goes forward."