Observer group to ensure a “free and fair” election

Fijian Elections Office staff participating in the elections mock exercise in the presence of the Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem and various political party members at Laucala Beach, Suva, last week. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

THE Multinational Observer Group (MOG) says its main objective will be to ensure that Fiji’s 2018 General Election is “free and fair”.

The group, which is co-led by Australia, India and Indonesia, has already signed a term of reference with the Minister Responsible for Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Their responsibility is to observe and evaluate the functions and operations of the Fijian Elections Office and oversee the entire polling day process.

Speaking on behalf of the group, India’s High Commissioner to Fiji Vishvas Sapkal said the MOG’s role would be an important one.

“Our aim is to ensure that a free and fair election is delivered in the upcoming general elections,” he said.

Mr Sapkal said the election observers from India would be arriving in the country soon.

“We are honoured to co-lead MOG with Australia and Indonesia in the 2018 General Election.”

Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes said the MOG was ready to conduct the same role they had undertaken in the 2014 General Election, that was to observe. ”

The first staff from the MOG arrived in the country over the weekend. We will expect more observers to come in just before the elections to observe the elections.

“I anticipate that they will be deployed across the country to observe polling and also observe the run up to voting.

“We are really pleased to join India, being the world’s largest democracy and Indonesia, the third largest democracy.”

He also confirmed that a total of 12 election observers from Australia were expected to arrive into the country soon.

Questions were also sent to the Indonesian ambassador to Fiji Benyamin Scott Carnadi yesterday but remained unanswered when this edition went to press last night.

 

Fiji’s Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem with some international observers. Picture SUPPLIED/Fijian Elections Office

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