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UK pledges assistance

Vishaal Kumar
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

BRITISH High Commissioner to Fiji Melanie Hopkins says the UK Government is ready to help Fiji in this year's general election.

Ms Hopkins said from the British Government's perspective, they recognised that the 2018 election would be an important part in Fiji's history.

"We are very supportive of an invitation being issued to creditable international election observers such as those provided by the commonwealth," Ms Hopkins said.

"The commonwealth secretariat have provided election observers in the Pacific region for a long time and we would be very supportive in seeing this happen in Fiji."

She said there were UK observers present for the 2014 election as part of the multinational observer group .

"We think the preeminent body delivering quality observation in the region is the commonwealth secretariat and UK is a strong supporter of the secretariat in doing this role," she said.

Ms Hopkins said when it came to the funding of the election, UK contributed the most amount to the secretariat overall.

"The commonwealth secretariat are revising their guidelines to ensure that they are sufficiently reflecting modern electoral processes, such as more on social media and they are doing a revision of the guidelines and this revision will be presented at the next commonwealth heads of government meeting in April and UK is very supportive of this." She said the UK's relationship with the Fijian Government was a close one.

"We have a good partnership on marine economies as well. Fiji has been showing more interest in the digitisation of maps.

"What this information really does is that it enables a country to have the best possible data in order to understand both their responsibilities for safety of lives at sea and then where there are more opportunities for economic growth, for example tourism."

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