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Govt Reviews Polls Observer Group Recommendations

Government has reviewed the recommendations done by Multinational Observer Group following the elections of 2014, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made a presentation at the Standing Committee on Justice,
15 Jul 2016 10:11
Govt Reviews Polls Observer Group Recommendations
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during submission to the Parliamentary standing committee on Justice,Law and Human rights yesterday.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

Government has reviewed the recommendations done by Multinational Observer Group following the elections of 2014, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made a presentation at the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights yesterday.

The Group which was co-led by Australia, Indonesia and India that had observed the 2014 General Elections had reported that the elections was credible.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said some of the recommendations of the Group fell under operational aspects of the elections office which others were the legislative prerogative of Parliament.

He said the report recommended there was a need for an independent institution to monitor actions consistent with Fiji’s constitutional framework.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the report recommended that the Electoral decree to be reviewed allowing civil society to engage in elections.

He said the Fijian Elections Office and Electoral Commission had outlined an application criterion for civil society and NGOs to engage in elections as far as educating the electorate on their rights and processes that need to be followed.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said some recommendations needed to be viewed from a factual perspective.

“There are some issues that had been highlighted, some very practical issues that do require some legal amendments and this is something that we will encourage also,” he said.

He said an example was the law that prohibits anyone going to polling stations to be carrying pens or papers with them which also applied to the observers.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they are looking at reviewing the law to allow observers to carry writing materials with them while carrying out assessment during elections.

He said recommendations had been put forward by the Fiji Elections Office on the matter.

However, he said they would object to few recommendations put forward by the Group.

The Group has recommended that people with disabilities and the elderly be assisted by their family members and relatives to the polling both.

He said the Electoral Decree allowed the Supervisor of Elections to allow staff working at polling stations to assist the disabled and elderly people.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the recommendation put forward for families and relatives to assist voters with special needs would not be considered as families and relatives could put pressure on the disabled and elderly voters.

 

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj



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