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

Comments

sara'ssista said…
I am unclear. Has there ever been any suggestion that the vote taken where Qarase was elected PM did not repesent the wishes of the majority of the population? Lets accept for arguments sake there was fraud etc. But did this amount to the wrong party gaining government? There are instances that you have identified which i may not even disagree with, but the election was not even close. The FLP was still the junior partner in the coalition and even if they had won government , given the recent legal and ethical clouds surrounding the leadership, would that have been any better?

I am not sure anyone accpets the system was not flawed (However this is far from needing the military intervention that later occurred), but to assume that this amounts to some outragous disenfranchisment? Reform by all means (withan elected mandate plz)The very idea that the military has all the answers and is part of the solution is still just as obsecene to me.
Questions said…
And how will this government ensure it does not use it's extraordinary power to become a elected government. This is what Qarase did and Frank and team and much much much more power and control than he ever did ?

Such words from the AG would be more credible if he came out and restated the PMs original promise that no one in this interim government will be eligible to stand in the election. Otherwise it is hard to believe this government will make anything fair. I can't think of a single example where they have accepted something they don't like. Why should we believe they would step aside if they lost a election or even why would we believe they will allownany party platform other than their own ?
Questions said…
And how will this government ensure it does not use it's extraordinary power to become a elected government. This is what Qarase did and Frank and team and much much much more power and control than he ever did ?

Such words from the AG would be more credible if he came out and restated the PMs original promise that no one in this interim government will be eligible to stand in the election. Otherwise it is hard to believe this government will make anything fair. I can't think of a single example where they have accepted something they don't like. Why should we believe they would step aside if they lost a election or even why would we believe they will allownany party platform other than their own ?
1, 2 ,5 years. Who cares said…
Croz
1 year, 2 years, 5 years. Who cares. This illegal junta and their families will evetually be chased up a drainpipe. Nothing is more certain. They will pay for their crimes and there is nothing the likes of you can do except bleat into the wind!! You know it. They know it. Hence the fear.
Concerned about what they do said…
More hollow promises from th AG. He recently said candidates would have disclose assets and interests yet there remians a deafening silence on his, the PM and minister salaries. Not to mention the PMs back pay and AGs aunty involvement in making payments.

This government continues with the do as I say not as I do form of preaching that really annoys me.

If they really want transparency and accountability theyncould start with government and the military. How about all those unpublished auditor general reports ? How about the great over spending and miss use of funds by the military ? What about the cost of the PMs travel ?

I too want a better Fiji. This government makes the good promises but time and time again they fail to follow through. They seem very scared of something - what are they hiding ? Why do they refuse to listen to anyone but themselves?
Bull dust said…
This government already stack everything in their favor. If a court decision goes the wrong way ignore it ( throw out the constitution). If it looks like it might go the wrong way then stomp it out with a new decree.

Why would we not expect them to also stack the election in their favor ?

They have control of the media, they will decide who can stand, they will veto party policy and they will only accept a outcome which is 1) them as the elected government or 2) them holding power above a chosen elected government (president etc>

So a question to ask is why waste any money or effort at all On elections ????
Brizera said…
Elections held under oppressive regimes have a poor history of producing democratic results. Recent events in Russia show that very clearly. If the 2014 elections take place - and this is a big if in my book - the current regime will be endorsed. Unless there is significant resistance against the regime forcing it out of power.
Anonymous said…
@Brizera that is erroneous statement regarding democratic elections.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/events/newsnight/1174115.stm
Anonymous said…
It is nearly 2012. Some people, this site included, a stuck on some remote planet.
CICERO said…
Well, we all seem to be forgetting and overlooking a few facts. These facts were presented as evidence to the Three Person Enquiry on the May 2006 elections (It sat in 2007).

The September 20005 Ennumeration Exercise was a poorly-organised and quite insulting affair. Worse, it took place in the main in our own homes. Then, the forms filled in by the ennumerators went AWOL. Or, they were found to have been erroneously filled in with significants pieces of information missing: date of birth, for instance. Those insufficiently filled out for one reason or another, were parked in the local DO's Office and they remained there until questions were asked when the Draft Rolls were printed. Even after challenge, the matter was not put to rights: because the Substantive Rolls came out still showing names missing, people in the wrong Constituencies, people registered TWICE (to be fined on the SECOND LISTING?). Postal Voters were often not permitted a postal vote for one spurious and lame excuse after another (mostly, wrong ethnic variety!). In our family, all those born in Fiji failed to achieve a vote. The one person not born in Fiji but a Fiji Citizen of long-standing (1978) DID get to vote: after a long and infuriating struggle made ON PRINCIPLE.

Wake Up! Own the problem and the misconduct. And take a moment out to recall that some of us have worked in Fiji Elections since 1977at every level of the process: running campaigns, electioneering, writing Manifestos, Counting Votes post-Poll and scrutineering. We know when things have not been run as they ought to be. They most certainly were NOT in May 2006

The Election Observers were jet-lagged or sleeping on the job and they failed Fiji and ordinary Fijians: all of them!

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