Sunvoice

EDITORIAL: The winner is Mohammed Saneem

If you braved the adverse weather yesterday and felt it was a huge sacrifice, spare your thought for Mohammed Saneem, the Supervisor of Elections. He has to endure four years
15 Nov 2018 10:55
EDITORIAL: The winner is Mohammed Saneem
Mohammed Saneem

If you braved the adverse weather yesterday and felt it was a huge sacrifice, spare your thought for Mohammed Saneem, the Supervisor of Elections.

He has to endure four years of criticisms heaped upon him by some politicians who also called for his res­ignation.

Despite the criti­cisms, Mr Saneem and the Fijian Elections Of­fice team have done ex­ceptionally well.

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka has justifiably praised Mr Saneem. He congratulated Mr Saneem and recognised that the FEO had done better this time com­pared to the 2014 General Election.

Multinational Observer Group officials have also been impressed with the FEO and the way voting had gone.

The unfavourable weather conditions had disrupted voting in 23 polling stations forcing their closure.

That was beyond anyone’s control.

Despite that, it was encouraging to note the number of people who braved atrocious conditions to cast their votes yesterday.

It is obvious that the bad weather has played havoc on people’s plans to vote. So it would not come as a surprise that the overall results would record a lower voter turn­out to 2014’s figures.

The weather is a pity because everyone was expecting a big turnout due to the intense campaign by political par­ties and the voter awareness campaign by FEO.

Since the 2014 election, Mr Saneem and his team have been relentless in their preparation to have the 2018 gen­eral election ready. And they have.

Early indications show that this will be a fair and cred­ible election. Politicians who have previously written off this election with outrageous claims of vote rigging and accusations against Mr Saneem should bow their heads in shame.

All the processes and systems set up by the FEO have been transparent. The media and politicians have at­tended FEO-run workshops to familiarize themselves with any new changes. Provisions of the electoral law have also been widely discussed.

No one can complain that they have not been given op­portunities to learn about the electoral processes. FEO officials have availed themselves to answer questions from the public, politicians and the media.

Mr Saneem has been transparent and has gone to great lengths to ensure that the people are updated with elec­toral systems. Regular media briefings have kept people informed of developments. These continued last night.

For the first time in Fijian election history, polling in 23 polling stations was abruptly stopped because the wet weather prevented voters from accessing the polling sta­tions. It would be reopened and new polling will happen when the weather permits.

Through all these, Mr Saneem mantained his compo­sure. Who is the first winner in this election?

Mohammed Saneem.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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