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Chosen at random

Dawn Gibson
Thursday, August 07, 2014

FOLLOWING questions raised regarding the use of three digit candidate numbers, Electoral Commission chair Chen Bunn Young clarified the number 135 was chosen at random, with no religious connotations attached.

At a press conference at the Elections Office in Suva yesterday, Mr Young said allocating candidate numbers beginning with the number 135 was a matter of consistency for the commission, nothing more.

"When this decree was being drafted sometime in early March, the numbering at 135 was there and basically there's no magic in that particular number, the reason for it being there is because it's a three-digit number — 135," he said.

"It is given for consistency because of the fact that we anticipated that there may be two or three hundred or maybe more candidates. So, it was decided at random — a random number was chosen."

He said as far as number symbolism goes, that was the extent of thought put into choosing the number.

"So there was no thought put behind it as to what it would resemble or any religious implications or connotations that have been suggested in the last week or so.

"We didn't want to use number one because the fact that sometimes that number gives a false impression to a voter to say, 'Well, he's/she's the number one candidate so it should be preferred' so the number 135 was chosen at random for that reason.

"So, if you go across the board, it means that every candidate who will be given a number — all of them will have a consistent three-digit number."

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