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Multinational Observer Group Declares 2018 Poll Transparent and Credible

Multinational Observer Group Declares 2018 Poll Transparent and Credible
International Election Observers at the Fijian Elections Office National Result Centre at Laucala Bay in Suva on November 14, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar
November 17
10:18 2018

The Multinational Observer Group has declared that the 2018 General Election is transparent and credible.

In a 10-page interim statement, the co-chairs of the MOG outlined it in accordance with MOG’s terms of reference.

Co-Chair Jane Prentice said: “The MOG’s observation is that the pro­cess to date has been transparent and credible.

“Our members witnessed elec­toral preparations, pre-polling, Election Day polling, counting and tabulation of results.

“MOG believes that Fijians were able to exercise their right to vote freely and that the outcome is on track to reflect the will of Fijian voters.

“The people of Fiji should have confidence in the conduct of FEO electoral procedures.

“The wet weather conditions on Election Day did make it difficult for many voters.

“However, all election stakehold­ers, especially the Fijian Elections Office (FEO), did their best to en­courage voters to turn out to vote, and we commend them for that,” Ms Prentice said.

“Our observers also noted the strong enthusiasm among the vot­ers who battled the rain to turn out to vote.”

She said the voting process was conducted professionally and large­ly without error adding that MOG has been impressed by the profes­sionalism and transparency dis­played by FEO and its staff.

“The successful conduct of Elec­tion Day was a testament to this professionalism and their degree of preparation,” she said.

She stated that it was clear that FEO had taken onboard many of the lessons learnt from the last election and refined many of its in­ternal processes over the past four years.

Counting and tabulation of results

MOG found the counting proce­dures thorough, with iterative ele­ments that allowed FEO staff and party agents opportunities to ad­dress any errors.

They noted that the “provisional” mode of tabulation is not spelled out in the Electoral Act.

It is a system introduced by the electoral authorities to provide to the public speedy information about the trends of the election re­sults, which has no legal standing.

Presiding officers relayed results by telephone to the Results Cen­tre and provided the basis for the FEO’s provisional results which were made available publicly on-line in real time.

MOG teams observed the process­es and found them well-organised.

They also observed that Opposi­tion parties raised concerns with MOG that the provision of these results was not provided for in the legislation.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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