Government Advice to the Fiji Times

MEDIA RELEASE: GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO ELECTION INQUIRIES

The Fiji Times has asked of Government questions pertaining to the voter registration and election process that amount to wondering why we are not “doing it like last time.” If it is not plainly evident, the last time failed.


Despite having such things as an “Independent Electoral Commission" and an "independent" Supervisor of Elections, the 2006 elections were subject to anomalies, lack of transparency and rife with mismanagement. Many of these issues are detailed in the European Union Election Observation Mission report. These include but are not limited to: flawed registration processes; lack of integrity in the electoral roll; inappropriate allocation of polling stations and ballot boxes; high levels of invalid votes; no recount of some close votes; and even a 101 percent voter turnout in one constituency.

Fijians, and in particular the Fijian media, should not be looking to precedent as perfection. It was not. Just like the purported democracy Fiji experienced before, processes for the previous elections were “independent” or “transparent” in name only.

The Bainimarama Government’s approach to, for example, voter registration has taken into account many considerations—in particular the EU report—and is designed to ensure we have in place an enduring system that advances transparent processes under the principle of common and equal citizenry.

Indeed, to further this objective the Bainimarama Government has agreed to discuss these matters with a UN Needs Assessment Team, which will be in the country in a few weeks time.

The Fiji Times instead of trying to create disquiet, politicise every issue, and undermine the modern and progressive systems and agenda being implemented, should be future-focused, intellectually robust and honest, and pro-Fiji.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Oh i see, so even if the abuses in the system were so widespreadas you claim, rather than instances, qarase wouldn't have won? Or Chaudry would have one then. Which one, given they ave BOTH been appointed by the military in some capacity. So what outcome would have changed anything?
Gutter Press said…
Crosbie

It’s a pity to see that you’ve embarked on a new course in your blog recently. You now routinely provide a full posting of government criticism of matters that it finds displeasing yet you give little, if any, publicity to the item(s) of which it is critical.

The government’s latest rebuke of the Fiji Times appears vacuous, since we are unable to read the questions which the Times has asked and decide for ourselves whether or not pertinent issues have been raised.

It continues a trend you started when providing several full posts of criticism of the Dodd’s report, without posting the report itself. You provided a link to that report at the end of another link and did the same with the paper by Mosmi Bhim.

If you feel that lack of space is the reason that doesn’t allow you to reproduce original articles in full then fair enough, but perhaps you could then also minimise government’s carping response merely to a link.
Cynic said…
Your use of the phrase "pro-Fiji" is sad and flawed. It implies that anyone who dares question the process or asks really hard questions and demand answers is somehow not supportive of the country.

It's the equivalent of the "love it or leave it" mentality in the United States when, post 9/11, anyone who said something bad about the Bush administration was vilified.

A healthy democracy demands ABSOLUTE press freedom. This is not some gray area which should be managed differently for Fiji.

The regime's willingness to "discuss" matters with a UN team is entirely non-committal. Having UN teams working throughout Fiji to assist the election process would be a much more transparent move. However, the Bainimarama's hints at not allowing an election result which displeases him to stand is the biggest red flag in this process.
Vote said…
Here you go again. It was broken before so to improve it we will give it to the AG without any checks and balances and that will ensure it is perfect. How many times have we heard that refrain. How many times have we seen the new practices abused by the AG or the tyrant?

And yet Croz you still print it unquestioningly as if we are all stupid.

OK the 2006 election was not perfect and it had some problems and it could be improved. But overall the EU report gave it the Thumbs Up. In their view it was a valid election.

The AG will probably run in the 2014 election. He has not ruled himself out. Can you name one other democracy where the voter registration is handled by a candidate?
Anonymous said…
this is the same Fiji Times that was required to change ownership (look how weel that went) and has been under withering attack by the regime for not being appreciative and suffciently compliant enough?? How dare they question the regime at al... yes Croz they should be more like you not rude enough to ask the hard questions or demand change or even answers. Presumably you are still blaming the media, Qarase and the chiefs for all the ill that have befallen Fiji today after six years of militray rule?
Sense of desperation said…
Croz
Your sense of desperation and increasingly ridiculous comments in trying to pretend this regime is anything but what it is are verging on pathetic. The regime, like you, is going nowhere - it will never ever have the credibility or respect it so desperately desires.
Failing this.....Forget it! said…
Any electoral process must be fully, visibly and completely independent. It must pass all international standards of independence and impartiality and be open to significant 'Best Practices' testing. Failing this, forget it.

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