FIJI NEWS

2014 poll rules hint

By MAIKELI SERU The Minister for Elections and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the 2014 General Elections will be different. He said changes would include the number of political parties contesting
06 Nov 2012 12:38

Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

By MAIKELI SERU

The Minister for Elections and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the 2014 General Elections will be different.
He said changes would include the number of political parties contesting the elections, the grounds of forming a political party, the criteria of selecting politicians to contest the elections, and time span for the elections.
“These are some of the regulations that we will look at as we are trying to facilitate the democratic process by ensuring that we

have the electoral roll that is fully representation of all Fijians who are eligible to vote,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
He said transparency was required so that people had an idea of who they could vote for.
A threshold is also included in the regulations which will require politicians and political parties to declare their assets and all background information.
“We are looking at all methods of improving the elections. It is in the interest of political parties that their supporters and officials are all registered.”
He said only those who were registered would be able to vote and contest the elections.
“We need to know their assets and what are they and who are they so that the voters know their background and know the people they will vote.”
While preparations for the elections are underway, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said new regulations could also put a ceiling on political parties contesting.
“At the moment there are 16 officially registered political parties in Fiji. Some of them are not operating, some of them formed by one person, some formed by families, some by friends and some formed and die out again.
“We need to clean all these up and follow the regulation and the minimum threshold.”
He said other changes could include reducing the number of days to hold the elections, the use of new ballot boxes made of other materials instead of timber.
He said the new ballot boxes would be hard to be tampered with. The old boxes are now infested with termites.
Another change would be the counting of ballot papers in voting centres in isolated areas instead of bringing all the boxes to main counting centres, an advertising blackout prior to the election and supply of information to the public using the media.
He also reiterated that the elections would still be held in 2014.



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