NATION

Fiji Observes Australian State Poll

Fiji is one of the two countries that have sent a delegation to observe the Queensland State general elections in Brisbane, Australia, on January 31, 2015. The Fijian Elections Office
31 Jan 2015 11:24
Fiji Observes Australian State Poll
From left: Acting deputy electoral commissioner of the Australian Electoral Commission, Kevin Kitson, Fijian Election Office divisional co-ordinator central Salaoetau Yavaca, Australian electoral commissioner Tom Rogers and Fiji’s Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem.

Fiji is one of the two countries that have sent a delegation to observe the Queensland State general elections in Brisbane, Australia, on January 31, 2015.

The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) was invited to participate in the Queensland State Election Visitor Programme by the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators (PIANZEA) Network, the regional elections body which Fiji re-joined in December 2014.

The delegation is led by the Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, who is joined by Salaoetau Yavaca, the FEO’s divisional co-ordinator central.

Mr Saneem said he was pleased Fiji’s membership in the PIANZEA Network has already provided his office its first opportunity to engage with other electoral bodies in the region.

“We are honoured to be one of the two outside participants – alongside New Zealand – in the Queensland visitor programme representing the PIANZEA Network, an organisation that Fiji is committed to strengthening and expanding since re-joining last year,” he said.

Mr Saneem said the PIANZEA Network was extremely important to Pacific island countries as a means to share knowledge, ideas and resources, and that Fiji was eager to assume a leadership role within the organisation to provide whatever assistance and support it can to its neighbours in the region.

“The Queensland visitor programme is a perfect example of what the PIANZEA Network offers its members; it gives us the opportunity to learn about the procedures used to conduct the Queensland state general election, which is conducted across 89 electoral districts,” he said.

Mr Saneem said for him the core objective of the network was for members to share knowledge, resources and innovations that improve the conduct of elections across the region, which includes visits during electoral events, capacity building and training of personnel in specialised areas of the electoral process.

“Moving forward, Fiji’s membership with PIANZEA Network will continue to provide a platform for Fiji to collaborate with fellow members to strengthen electoral administration in the Pacific,” he said.

During their visit to Brisbane, the Fijian delegation will meet with Walter van der Merwe, electoral commissioner of the Electoral Commission Queensland and Robin Boyd, former director operations of the FEO.

“Their presence – and the presence of other election experts – offers many opportunities for the FEO to learn about the electoral processes used in the Queensland state election, as well as to build important relationships with election officials in the region,” Mr Saneem said.

The delegation will observe all stages of the election – including the processing of over 300,000 postal votes and also the roll out of the electronic voter list machines in 29 electoral divisions – something that may be useful for Fiji’s Elections.

Feedback: newsroom@fijisun.com.fj

 

 




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