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Leawere Wants CSOs To Carry Out Voter Education

Leawere Wants CSOs To Carry Out Voter Education
Opposition Member of Parliament Mika Leawere outside Parliament on September 12, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar
September 13
10:55 2017

Oppsition’s Mikaele Leawere has called on the Government to reconsider the participation of the Multinational Observers Group for the 2018 General Election.

The Shadow Minister for Education and SODELPA member says the next election is not far from today and they are concerned that the Fijian people are what he called still not well informed of the electoral system and processes.

“We call on Government to seriously reconsider the participation of the Multinational Observer Group together with non-government organisations (NGOs) and local stakeholders,” Mr Leawere said.

He said Government needed to review Section 115 of the Electoral Act that prohibits Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from carrying out voter education.

“Why deny them this right? Donor funded organisations have been at the forefront of voter education without legislative restrictions in all parliamentary elections prior to 2014,” he said.

He said there was a need for Government to measure this with other international standards and treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Mr Leawere says the nation is thankful to the Prime Minister for acknowledging the importance of committing all things to the Lord when he advocated for a weekend of prayer in regards to climate change.

However, he added that the need to put the ‘talanoa spirit’ as said by the Prime Minister during the Petersburg Climate Dialogue in Berlin a few months ago must be practised at home, in Fiji.

Mr Leawere ended his response to the presidential address by stating, “We are ready to take on the challenge thrown by His Excellency the President when he said ‘Fijians will be tested next year.”

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola



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