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Respect the right of political choice of every Fijian, says Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission is calling on political parties, their agents and supporters to respect the right of political choice of every Fijian. The legal framework in Fiji in relation to
08 Aug 2017 11:00
Respect the right of political choice of every Fijian, says Electoral Commission
Fijian Electoral Commission chairperson Suresh Chandra at Natabua High School on May 22, 2017. Photo: Fijian Elections Office

The Electoral Commission is calling on political parties, their agents and supporters to respect the right of political choice of every Fijian.

The legal framework in Fiji in relation to elections guarantees the right of every voter to select a candidate of their choice in secrecy and the Electoral Commission will ensure that this right is protected.

The Electoral Commission is appointed pursuant to section 75 of the 2013 Constitution, and under section 75(2) it is responsible for the conduct of free and fair elections in accordance with written law governing elections.

Political parties, their agents and supporters are reminded to uphold clause 6 of the Code of Conduct for Political Parties as found in the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act 2013 which states:

A political party shall not –

(a) Engage in or encourage violence by its members or supporters;

(b) Engage in influence peddling, bribery or any other form of corruption;

(c) Accept or use illicit or illegal money;

(d) Accept or use public resources other than those allocated to the political party; and

(e) Advocate hatred that constitutes ethnic or religious incitement or vilification of other or any other form of communal antagonism.

According to section 141 of the Electoral Act, any person who hinders or interferes with the free exercise or performance by any other person, of any political right or duty that is relevant to an election commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or to both.

To ensure Fiji has a free and fair general election in 2018, the Electoral Commission will report any alleged breaches of electoral laws to FICAC under section 18 of the Electoral Act.

Members of the public should report such instances directly to the Electoral Commission.

 

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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