Aust NZ Will Help Voter Registration

MEDIA RELEASE: AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND VOLUNTEER TO HELP IN FIJI VOTER REGISTRATION

Experts from Australia and New Zealand, facilitated by their respective governments, will work with the Fijian government to register its voters for the national election scheduled in 2014.  They will join a logistical expert from the RFMF in creating a deployment plan for the upcoming electronic voter registration (EVR) period scheduled to begin in early July.

 “For the first time in Fiji’s history, the Bainimarama Government is guaranteeing universal suffrage- one person, one value, one vote,” said Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. 

“Comprehensive and thought-out logistical planning is necessary to ensure that each and every Fijian has the opportunity and ability to register.”

With a population of slightly less than 900,000, spread across more than 110 islands, the scale of this undertaking is immense. The logistical and technical requirements for such a process, most notably transportation considerations, will be complex. Additionally, more than 1,000 Fijians will have to be trained to assist in the process.

“The involvement of outside expertise demonstrates once again that the Fijian government is willing to work with international partners for the benefit of all Fijians,” the Attorney General said.

“The combination and collaboration of these partners will help ensure the best possible results in the upcoming voter registration.”

The logistical team will be headed by Major Isoa Loanakadavu of the RFMF, who will be joined by William Hogan, an Australia-based electoral operations consultant with the UN/UNDP, and Mark Jones, Manager Operations at the Electoral Enrollment Center in New Zealand. This team will work in collaboration with the Canadian  EVR firm CODE, Inc.

The electronic voter registration will begin July 3rd in Suva, where the Prime Minister will receive the first voter registration card. Registration will run for eight weeks at centers across the country.

For more information on Fiji's upcoming constitutional consultations or elections, follow Fiji on Twitter @FijiRepublic or on Facebook.

Comments

Setting an historical wrong to rights said…
An offer of assistance with Voter Registration from Australia and New Zealand should be taken up with gratitude and speed.

It is vitally important that this essential step in the restoration of democratic process should be done in a professional, courteous, impartial and efficient way. The experience of September 2005 rankles still in its gross ineptness, rudeness and underlying sense of menace. Never again shall those of us who experienced the insulting behaviour of improperly trained ennumerators, paid for by taxation, willingly submit to it again. And, what is more, it took place in our own homes, dwelling places and settlements. A disgraceful blot on the face of a so-called democracy. All those responsible for it should hang their heads in well-merited shame.

Australia, New Zealand and Canada would be more than welcome now to set this historical wrong to rights. In fact, it might go a long way to erase the bitterness of six long years of hardship for so many of us.

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