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Moving forward

Dawn Gibson
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

THE multinational observer group which will be in the country to observe and evaluate Fiji's elections processes and outcomes will consist of representatives from 14 different countries.

This was announced yesterday by Minister for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who confirmed that the co-leaders of the group would be Australia, India, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

"The observer group will be Israel, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Japan, New Zealand, Korea, Iran and the UK — this is the extent of the countries that will participate in the observer group," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

A terms of reference (TOR) was yesterday signed by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum on behalf of the Fijian Government and Acting Australian High Commissioner to Fiji Glenn Miles on behalf of the Australian Government.

"The important thing about getting this document signed today (yesterday) is that it enables us to start moving forward and getting the observer group on to the ground," Mr Miles said.

According to the TOR, the group's key scope areas will include the observation and evaluation of voter education campaigns, election day operations and events, the resolution of disputes throughout the electoral cycle and the processes involved with alternative means of voting, among other roles.

"To observe and evaluate the functions and operations including the procurement process of the Fijian Elections Office with respect to the 2014 Fijian general election," the TOR reads.

"To observe and evaluate the reconciliation of all ballot papers after the 2014 general election and assess whether the voter processes of the FEO facilitated and assisted the Fijian voters to exercise their right to freely vote and whether the outcome of the 2014 general election broadly represented the will of the Fijian voters."

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