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Objection insults Fijians

Felix Chaudhary
Sunday, May 11, 2014

ATTORNEY-GENERAL and Minister responsible for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says political parties that question the way ballot papers for the September election are constructed are questioning the literacy of the Fijian people.

"The fact is, it is a very simple ballot paper," he said.

"In fact it is an insult to ordinary Fijians to say they won't understand the ballot paper.

"Are they questioning the literacy rate in Fiji? They are saying people won't understand numbers.

"If you take conventional methods of measuring how many people have mobile phones in Fiji, it's over 100 per cent.

"There are more SIM cards in Fiji than actual people.

"Obviously people are using mobile phones, they dial numbers, they know numbers.

"So it is an insult to Fijians to say they won't understand the ballot paper."

The A-G said the Open List system under which the September poll would be held gave every registered person the opportunity to vote for individuals rather than a political party, adding that this was possibly the reason that political leaders were uncomfortable with it.

"The Open List system gives you as an individual the opportunity to choose directly the candidate you want.

"Not for the party to select.

"That is the whole purpose and philosophy behind the Open List system.

"You can change the preferences of the party you want to put down.

"They are scared of that. They are scared that ordinary Fijians will directly choose whoever they want."

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