THE plan to recruit 14,000 workers for polling day by the Fijian Elections Office is a waste of $5million in taxpayer's money.
That is the view of FLP assistant general secretary Kini Marawai who said the best thing the Elections Office could have done was to harness and utilise the expertise and experience of the civil servants who had been, in the past, doing a sterling job.
"Election day is a public holiday and what better option to use than civil servants, who are already paid with the advantage they also have the experience of resource personnel for and during elections," Mr Marawai said.
"Time is too short and I think it is a waste of public money to recruit another 14,000 when election is only a few short months away.
Elections Supervisor Mohammed Saneem said recruiting 14,000 locals as polling day officials would provide a sense of ownership to the Fijians.
Mr Saneem said it was important that everybody participated in the election.
He said the previous elections were more government run.
Electoral Commission chairman Chen Bunn Young said the electoral office was trying to ensure it remained independent and continued to provide opportunities to Fijians.
Mr Young has also clarified the new ballot paper to be used in the election was workable despite numerous calls by political parties for the ballot paper to be changed.