Elections: Avoiding the 'Mistakes' of 2006
The Government will ensure there are proper laws in place to avoid what happened in Fiji during the 2006 elections.
Speaking at the opening of the Attorney-General’s conference at Shangri-La Fijian Resort last Friday, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the European Union’s Report on the 2006
Election highlighted a series of defects, notwithstanding the fact that it said the elections were credible.
“Notwithstanding the fact that they said that there was a voter turnout of 101 per cent in one of the constituencies in Vanua Levu. Notwithstanding the fact that it noted there was no proper reconciliation of ballot boxes, or for that matter ballot papers, in some of the counting sessions,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“We do not want a repeat of 2006. We have to ensure that there are proper laws to stop this from happening again.”
However, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that there was a lot more fundamental issues, such as ethnic voting, that would not happen in the next election - thanks to the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress.
“Under the 1997 constitution, the principle of one person, one vote and indeed one value was absent,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“The province of Namosi, for example, of approximately 3200 voters voted for one person. The province of Nadroga had 19000 voters approximately and they also voted for one person. Six seats were allocated under the ethnic system for voting for urban and peri-urban indigenous Fijians. Yet 45 per cent of them lived in the urban and peri-urban areas but they were given six seats out of 23.
“On the other hand, Indo-Fijians were allocated 19 seats when they in fact should have received a lower number of seats because their percentage in the population was proportionally lower and that was the principle on which the Reeves Commission had worked out the numbers.
“I am glad to say the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress has mandated the Bainimarama Government to ensure the constitutional consultation, which will commence next year, will not negotiate on ethnic voting,” the Attorney-General added.
-- No:2188/MOI) ETHNIC VOTING TO BE ELIMINATED