2018 General Election to set a new benchmark, says Chandra

Electoral Commission Chairperson Suresh Chandra. Picture: FT FILE/JOVESA NAISUA

THE 2018 General Election will be a platform for Fijians to express their will with confidence, security and freedom, says Electoral Commission chairman Suresh Chandra.

Fiji will be going to polls on Novermber 14 and Mr Chandra said the commission was optimistic this year’s election would set a new benchmark.

“This can only be possible if voters exercise their democratic right and come out to vote,” he said.

“The Fijian Elections Office has conducted a comprehensive voter education and awareness exercise to ensure that voters know what to expect at their polling venue and how to mark their ballot paper.”

According to the commission, eight political parties are eligible to contest the coming general election. They are the National Federation Party, Social Democratic Liberal Party, FijiFirst, Fiji Labour Party, People’s Democratic Party, Freedom Alliance Party, Unity Fiji and HOPE party.

“The writ has been issued and it is now time for Fijians to vote again for the next Parliament,” Mr Chandra said.

Now that the Writ for Election has been issued, political party registration has closed and postal voting applications are open. As of September 17, 2018, 634,120 voters have registered to vote in the coming polls — 314,686 of who are females and 319,434 males.

“The 2014 General Election achieved some milestones with 84 per cent voter turnout and 0.75 per cent invalid votes,” he added.

Meanwhile, nominations for candidates commence from 8am today and close at 12 noon on October 15, 2018.

Nominations will be received at the Fijian Elections Office at High St in Toorak, Suva.

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