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EU supports election training

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

THE Elections Office yesterday launched an operations and training manual for electoral presiding officers and began the first of three training of trainers' workshops at Lami's Novotel Hotel.

The training is part of EU support to the Fijian Elections Office.

The training of trainers' workshop is being run by international experts from Democracy Reporting International (DRI), which is contracted by the EU, and is supported by trainers from New Zealand.

The workshop will prepare the 20 trainers of the Elections Office to conduct training for polling station presiding officers, assistant presiding officers and polling venue co-ordinators.

Trainers will be trained in the detailed conduct of polling and counting procedures to pass on to future presiding officers and polling day workers.

Head of the EU delegation to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs said the organisation supports democracy as a priority wherever they work.

"We have a long history of assisting democratic transitions around the globe.

"In Fiji, we have supported the process of democratic transition from the beginning, and have worked closely with Australia and New Zealand to provide technical assistance to the Electoral Management Bodies," he said.

He said the EU was focused on supporting the training aspects of the electoral process, by providing technical experts and support in training polling staff.

"This will contribute to the smooth running of the forthcoming elections.

"We are glad to have experts of DRI on the ground and we are pleased to be collaborating with New Zealand on this very important initiative," He said.

The training workshop precedes two others which will be held next week.

A total of 60 people will be trained as trainers and these in turn, will train 4000 polling station presiding officers, assistant presiding officers and polling venue co-ordinators over the coming weeks.

The EU is providing more than Euro 800,000 ($F2million) in technical assistance and training support in the lead-up to the September 17 election.

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