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Chief: Pre-poll misleading

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, September 05, 2014

THIRTY villagers from Yaqeta in the Yasawa Group are worried they will not be able to vote today.

A pre-polling station will open on the island today and the villagers are concerned because they will still be travelling from Lautoka when polling closes at 6pm.

Tui Yaqeta Semisi Bete says the confusion lay on the wide awareness and emphasis that the 2014 election would be a "one day" affair.

"That is misleading because our people just found out that it is actually a two week process," he said.

"It is just unfortunate that they had to find out after arriving at the Lautoka wharf today (Thursday).

"People started asking where the villagers were going when pre-polling would be held on Friday (today) at the island. There was much concern and frustration because everybody knew the election was one day and this pre-polling they thought it was a trial or something, not the real thing.

"The boat usually returns on Friday but it has all its scheduled stops and sometimes reaches Yaqeta after 7pm.

"If someone wants it to return sooner they will have to pay and people don't have that kind of money. And anyway, they have come to the market to sell their coconuts and seafood, that's their only income.

"I hope they make some special arrangement and allow voting to continue a few hours into the night until the boat gets there so people can vote.

"They have been looking forward and will be greatly disappointed if they don't vote."

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