Politics

Election Campaign Period Starts In April, 2022: Saneem

Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Suresh Chandra had announced in January that the first day the writ can be issued was May 26, 2022.
07 Apr 2021 11:00
Election Campaign Period Starts In April, 2022: Saneem
Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem at the Fijian Elections Office on April 6, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The 2022 General Election campaign period will start from April next year and end 48 hours before Election Day, says Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem.

The campaign period will start a month before the earliest date that the election writ can be issued by the President.

Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Suresh Chandra had announced in January that the first day the writ can be issued was May 26, 2022.

According to proposed amendments in the Electoral Act, Mr Saneem said the campaign period will be officially defined giving parties roughly seven months to campaign if the election is held on the last possible date.

“Previously, the definition of campaign was not provided in the law. This meant that a lot of the laws regarding campaign were not applicable until an election date was announced. This has resulted in the unsuccessful prosecution of some cases in the 2014 and 2018 period,” Mr Saneem said.

However, he said there was no restrictions in Fiji on political party campaigns.

The official campaign period in April signifies when election laws can be enforced.

“The flow on effect from this is that you could expect political party activities to ramp up during this period because they now know that they are within the official window campaigning,” he said.

“More information regarding the state of the economy and party manifesto can be released by official agencies as well as political parties themselves because they now know they are in the election window period.

“Whilst it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister to advise the President on a suitable date for dissolving of Parliament these provisions bring about a level of certainty in terms of elections.”

Mr Saneem also mentioned that all registered parties have until the end of this month to submit their financial audited accounts for 2020.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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