Missed chance to vote

Ratu Suluo Draunibaka at Namarai village on the coast of Ra. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

SEVENTY-nine-year-old Ratu Suluo Draunibaka missed out on his chance to vote yesterday because his name was not present in the voters’ register in Namarai, Nakorotubu, Ra.

Upon enquiring with the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) officials, Mr Draunibaka said he was told his name was listed in another pre-polling station.

Mr Draunibaka was informed that he was supposed to cast his vote at Saioko, Lawaki, more than 10 kilometers away from Namarai.

“Why is my name listed in Saioko when I live in Namarai?” he asked.

“My home is here and I have no family or relatives in Saioko.”

He said he was disappointed.

Namarai Village headman Ratu Meli Naucukidi said it was unfortunate that the 79-year-old could not vote.

“A lot of people have been looking forward to this day and it’s disappointing that they have to be turned away,” he said.

“Even though we accept the decision of the elections officers, it’s still disappointing.”

According to FEO, voters were informed well in advance about changing addresses.

Awareness programs on the voter roll and the need to change a voter’s address was put to each pre-polling station.