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Parliament passes Electoral and COP23 Trust Fund Bills

Parliament passes Electoral and COP23 Trust Fund Bills
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’
February 10
11:00 2017

Two Bills that were fast-tracked last night through Standing Order 51. They were the Electoral Amendment Bill 2017 and COP23 Presidency Trust Fund Bill 2017.

Speaking on the Electoral Amendment Bill 2017, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said in 2014 Fiji saw one of the highest turnouts of voters and recorded the lowest number of invalid votes in Fiji’s electoral history.

He said if the Bill was passed agents or observers would be allowed to take into polling stations materials which were allowed by the Supervisor of Elections.

“As you know previously they weren’t allowed to so now the supervisor of elections can determine what the agents or polling agents and approved observers can take in,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“This will enhance transparency and accountability at the polling stations.”

He said the Supervisor of Elections would be required to provide a guideline on appropriate materials which they could take to polling stations.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum earlier said those sort of anomalies that existed previously were also being addressed within these amendments that were being sought.

The Bill was passed with 31 votes to 12 while six did not cast their votes.

He said the Bill also allowed the Supervisor of Elections to review polls if he received a complaint.

Opposition MP, Biman Prasad, said Government should take into consideration recommendations made by the Multi-National Group Observers report.

SODELPA MP, Semesa Karavaki opposed the way in which the Bill was passed.

Meanwhile, the COP23 Presidency Trust Bill 2017, which will establish a pool of funds required to resource the events of COP23, was also passed in Parliament.

The motion was agreed unanimously.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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