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Changes upset parties

Avinesh Gopal
Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE Fijian Elections Office has made changes to the candidates nomination form stating it has been done this to assist political parties in the nomination process.

This, however, has not been well received by major political parties vying to form the next government.

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said his office was informed via electronic mail yesterday that changes were being made to the candidates nomination form.

"They want a passport photo now and it should have been written 'party leader' at one place on the form and not 'president' as stated.

"It has to be changed to 'party leader' now," he said.

"Most political parties are ready with the candidates nomination form and they just have to be submitted.

"We just can't fill in the new nomination forms in this short time because candidates are scattered in different parts of the country. It's not easy to do that.

"This just shows a complete lack of professionalism on their (Elections Office) part.

"For petty matters they want to change the nomination form now and it's just ridiculous."

Chaudhry said time was running out for the September 17 general election and changes to the candidates nomination form at this time did not augur well for them.

Social Democratic Liberal Party general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu said the changes were a big inconvenience for the party, saying the Elections Office should have been more careful when designing the forms.

"It's a big administrative problem for us as candidates are scattered all over the country and are busy campaigning.

"It's very hard to call them back to fill and sign the new nomination form," he said.

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said changes had been made to the form to assist political parties.

Mr Saneem said the previous form required a 25mmx25mm size photo of the candidates and had "president" instead of "party leader".

"Instead of the 25mmx25mm photo, we have asked for a passport photo.

"The place where it was written 'president' has been changed to 'party leader'," he said.

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