NEWS

Fiji Leads PIF Poll Mission

In a major boost for Fiji on the international scene, it is leading a Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Election Observation Mission to Papua New Guinea. Fijian Supervisor of Elections Mohammed
11 May 2015 11:29
Fiji Leads PIF Poll Mission

In a major boost for Fiji on the international scene, it is leading a Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Election Observation Mission to Papua New Guinea.

Fijian Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem will lead the PIF team that will monitor a critical election on Bougainville leading up to a referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea.

The mission is an indication of Fiji’s growing standing in the region and beyond.

Mr Saneem leaves Fiji on Wednesday and is travelling to the island to head the PIF observer group – which includes Vanuatu – for the voting to choose a new Bougainville Autonomous Government. The PIF team, led by Fiji, joins an international observer force that includes Australia, New Zealand, the United States, France, Japan, Britain and the Commonwealth.

A statement from the Fijian Elections Office revealed that the election – over a two-week period – is being contested by 342 candidates, including nine vying for the Presidency of Bougainville currently held by veteran politician John Momis.

Mr Saneem described it as “a great honour” for Fiji to have been invited to head the PIF mission so soon after our own elections last September.

“It is certainly a testament to the regard in which the Fijian Elections Office is held for the conduct of our own poll. Having staged an election deemed free and credible by our own Multi-National Observer Group, we are now being asked to assist others to achieve the same high standard,” Mr Saneem said.

The statement read: “The PIF mission and the other observers have been guaranteed complete freedom of movement by the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner to monitor voting across 700 polling stations on the island.”

The election is the third for the autonomous PNG region since the peace agreement in 2001 that ended a bloody civil war on the island. But it is regarded as the most critical because of the referendum slated for this term on Bougainville’s future in Papua New Guinea.

Counting of votes commences in the week of May 26 and ends on June 7, with the result announced soon afterwards.

Fiji – represented by the Supervisor of Elections – will monitor the voting itself on behalf of the PIF and Vanuatu – represented by its Electoral Commissioner John Taleo – will monitor the counting.

Reports from Bougainville say the four-week campaign has been trouble free.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 




Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: