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Australian High Commissioner: Fiji Will Deliver Credible, Fair Elections

Australian High Commissioner: Fiji Will Deliver Credible, Fair Elections
Australian High Commissioner John Feakes and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Photo: Australian High Commission.
September 10
11:45 2018

Australia has confidence in the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) to deliver a credible and fair election this year.

This statement was made by the Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes, to the Fiji Sun.

He said the election in 2014 were judged by international observers to have been credible and reflective of the will of the people and he was confident FEO would deliver a similarly credible national election this year.

Australia will co-lead the Multinational Observation Group (MOG) for the 2018 General Election.

“Australia was happy to accept the invitation of the Fijian Government to again co-lead with India and Indonesia, two of the world’s largest democracies,” he said.

“We expect to deploy at least four to six Australian Electoral Commission staff to assist during the election in 2018 in addition to observers.”

In terms of Australia’s support to the FEO, Mr Feakes said they had been working closely with FEO since 2014.

“We have supported the FEO through a partnership with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) – providing short-term inputs in areas such as full Electoral Cycle planning and, logistics and ballot paper printing processes.   

“We currently have two advisers in place.  One is a ‘senior elections adviser’ to the FEO, largely working on operations.

“The second is working as an adviser to the Fiji Electoral Commission and, of course, the Deputy Supervisor of Elections is from New Zealand.”

Mr Feakes also commented on the signing of a partnership agreement between USP, the FEO, the Indonesian Government and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

He said the partnership would deliver tertiary level courses on electoral management
to Fijians and other members of the Pacific.

“These courses will further develop the professionalism of the staff of the FEO and provide a pipeline of qualified future employees,” Mr Feakes said.

“I would note that the FEO also provides training to a number of electoral bodies in other parts of the Pacific.”

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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