Electoral Commission’s Term Ends Monday
The term of Electoral Commission members come to an end on Monday.
The members are: Lawyer Chen Bunn Young, who is also the chairperson: the tourism industry leader and marketing expert, James Sowane; accountant and financial advisor Jenny Seeto; the filmmaker and media specialist, Larry Thomas: electoral expert and priest, Father David Arms; and the educationalist and civil society leader, Alisi Daurewa.
The Electoral Commission plays a significant role in Fiji and has the powers to alter the composition of Parliament.
The Electoral Commission established under the State Services Decree 2009 and has the responsibility for the registration of voters and the conduct of free and fair elections in accordance with the written law governing elections and any other relevant law.
The Commission consists of a chairperson who is or is qualified to be a Judge, and 6 other members.
The chairperson and the members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President, on the advice of the Constitutional Offices Commission.
A person is not qualified for appointment as a member if he or she is— (a) a member of Parliament; (b) the holder of a public office (other than an office of Judge); (c) a member of a local authority; or (d) a candidate for election to Parliament.
Section 54 of the Constitution which deals with the Composition of Parliament states:
Composition of Parliament 54.—(1) For the first general election of members of Parliament held under this Constitution, Parliament shall consist of 50 members, elected in accordance with this Constitution.
(2) For each general election of members of Parliament after the first general election held under this Constitution, the Electoral Commission shall, at least one year before any such general election, review the composition of Parliament and may, if necessary, increase or decrease the total number of members of Parliament to ensure that, as far as practicable, at the date of any such review, the ratio of the number of members of Parliament to the population of Fiji is the same as the ratio of the number of members of Parliament to the population of Fiji at the date of the first general election held under this Constitution.
(3) In conducting a review under subsection (2), the Electoral Commission shall have regard to the population of Fiji as ascertained from the most recent census, the Register of Voters or any other official information available.
(4) If the Electoral Commission makes a determination to alter the composition of Parliament in exercise of its powers under subsection (2), then the composition of Parliament shall, for the purpose of the general election of members of Parliament to be held after the date of the determination, be deemed to be amended to such number of members as determined by the Electoral Commission.
Edited by Maraia Vula