NEWS

A-G Says Leave Institutions Alone

Institutions like Parliament, Elections Office and the Judiciary need to be dealt with in a very apolitical manner, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. His remarks were made during an elections office
06 May 2015 11:24
A-G Says Leave Institutions Alone
Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum,

Institutions like Parliament, Elections Office and the Judiciary need to be dealt with in a very apolitical manner, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

His remarks were made during an elections office regional workshop held at the Grand Pacific Hotel yesterday.

The workshop is supported and facilitated by the Australian Government and the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators Network (PIANZEA).

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted the unfortunate manner in which Fiji’s Elections Office was treated by PIANZEA after the events of 2006, while calling on other Pacific island countries to support each other.

“I think it is also very critical for PIANZEA to be a lot more attuned to what is happening in the Pacific,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“As you know Fiji was part of PIANZEA before 2006 and suddenly that connection was lost after the events of 2006.

“It is very critical that when you are talking about Parliaments, when you are talking about the Elections Office and when you are talking about the Judiciary, that they need to be dealt with in a very apolitical manner.

“All of these institutions go towards building a strong democracy and are also independent institutions,” he said.

“From a Pacific perspective, we must not ever allow any of our brothers or sisters to be sidelined because in order to ensure longevity of democracy and longevity of strong democratic institutions, we must always hold hands with each other.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said at international conferences, issues concerning Pacific island countries show how much these small island states have in common.

“You suddenly realise that the Pacific island states and other small island states have far more in common, are far more isolated in many discourse; whether we’re talking about economic development; whether we talking about financing; whether we are talking about aid; whether we are talking about access to markets, we the small island developing states have far more in common than the rest of the world,” he said.

The regional workshop was opened by the Australian High Commissioner Margaret Twomey and it was attended by regional elections officers who were here to learn best practices and attend courses.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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