Welcome to the Fijian Elections Office. To help me read out words on the site you will need to highlight text and click on the speaker icon. Allternatively, you may click on the listen button.   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to the Fijian Elections Office. To help me read out words on the site you will need to highlight text and click on the speaker icon. Allternatively, you may click on the listen button.

Tongan Election Interim Statement

The KINGDOM OF TONGA

NATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

16 NOVEMBER 2017

INTERIM STATEMENT

Hon Margaret Wilson DNZM

Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group

Saturday 18 November 2017

NUKU’ALOFA

“We congratulate the Kingdom of Tonga for participating peacefully and in numbers in their national election to decide their leaders in the next Parliament.”

The Commonwealth Observer Group was invited here by the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga. Since our arrival on 9 November, we have been warmly welcomed by everyone we have met. Before the election, we met with the Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet, the Speaker of Parliament, representatives of the Nobles of the Realm, the Electoral Commission, candidates, civil society groups, women and youth groups, Tonga Media Council, and members of the diplomatic corps.

Members of our Group were deployed to Vava’u, Ha’apai, and here in Tongatapu to observe the poll, count and declaration of results. We have collaborated and worked closely with the observers from the Pacific Islands Forum, who were present in Tongatapu and ‘Eua.

I was privileged to observe the process where the Nobles of the Realm elected their nine representatives to Parliament. This is a unique constitutional arrangement in the Kingdom and a process outlined in Tonga’s electoral laws.

This is the Group’s Interim Statement, providing an outline of our key observations and findings.

Key Interim Findings

General summary

The Commonwealth Charter “recognises the inalienable right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, in particular through free and fair elections in shaping the society in which they live.” We congratulate the Kingdom of Tonga for turning out in numbers to exercise their democratic right. The election was conducted in a peaceful environment and the voters demonstrated a good understanding and trust in the process. We found the election was conducted in accordance with Tonga’s national laws and the results reflected the wishes of the people.

The Group noted that this was the third election held under the amended Constitution 2010, as part of Tonga’s democratic reforms. We further noted that this election was conducted a year earlier than anticipated, following His Majesty, King Tupou VI’s decision to invoke Clause 38 of the Constitution to dissolve Parliament on 25 August 2017.

We encourage the incoming Government, the members of Parliament and all stakeholders to continue working together to strengthen the Kingdom’s democratic processes and engage in dialogue to clarify constitutional issues that would deepen the Kingdom’s democracy and promote the rule of law.

Preparations and election campaign

The Group acknowledged and commended the work of the Electoral Commission in preparing the country’s election with short notice following His Majesty’s decision.

The Group observed campaigning in Tongatapu ahead of the 16 November election. Many candidates chose to promote their campaigns through the use of posters and with campaign ‘floats’- large convoys of candidates’ supporters – which added a spirited and unique flair to the environment.

The Group commended the media for the positive role it played in creating awareness about election issues and the campaign. While some interlocutors raised access to the media as a potential issue, it appeared that campaigning was lively and competitive, and candidates were generally able to convey their campaign messages to the public.

We welcomed a large number of women candidates that contested the election. We convey our sincere congratulations to the two female candidates who won their seats in Tongatapu and Vava’u, marking the first time two women will be represented in the Legislative Assembly concurrently. We encourage the women in Tonga to continue to participate in elections and pursue greater representation in the National Parliament.

Polling

The Group was impressed with the high level of professionalism, integrity and efficiency displayed by polling officials, many of whom were women, during the election. These officials appeared well trained and ensured the polling process was well organised and that voters were able to cast their votes in an orderly manner.

Voters appeared to have a solid understanding of polling procedures and exercised their franchise in a calm and positive atmosphere. The Group was pleased to see a high turn-out of women voters at the election, as well as elderly and disabled voters who were assisted by the polling officials where necessary to ensure they were able to cast their votes.

We commended the support provided by the police, fire and correctional service personnel to the polling teams in all the constituencies we observed. Their presence contributed to the peaceful environment that enabled the people to exercise fully their democratic rights in the country’s political process. The Group also welcomed the role that Town Officers and other local community leaders played in supporting polling teams in their task.

The Group recognised that none of the candidates had agents or scrutineers during the poll and count. This is a testament to the trust and confidence the people of Tonga have in their electoral process.

Count and declaration of results

The Group found the count to be efficient and methodical. Consideration could be given to make the count more transparent by allowing the voters to observe the process.

The result in each polling station was made public immediately after the completion of the count. Ballot boxes were then returned to the district offices and a final result was announced later in the evening by the Electoral Commission.

Conclusion

We will finalise our report over the next two days and this will include the Group’s conclusion and set of recommendations for consideration to strengthen the country’s electoral process.

Our report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary- General who will, in turn, submit it to the Government of Tonga, the Electoral Commission, Speaker of Parliament and other key stakeholders in the country.

The Commonwealth’s long-standing commitment to Tonga’s democracy and development will continue. The Kingdom’s constitution has unique features which recognises its social, cultural and political structures. I encourage all citizens and the elected leaders from this election to continue working together in strengthening the Kingdom’s democracy.

We note the process of forming the Government will commence shortly following the full declaration of results. We congratulate the Kingdom of Tonga on a successful election and convey our sincerest appreciation and best wishes to His Majesty King Tupou VI, the Nobles of the Realm, the incoming Government and the people. It has been a privilege to lead this Group of Commonwealth observers to the Kingdom’s national parliamentary election.

Nuku’alofa

18 November 2017

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7040 applicants complete Election Officials Training

7040 applicants have successfully completed the first phase of training as part of the Election Officials recruitment process for the Fijian Election Office [FEO].

The first phase involves a half day training conducted by the Fijian Electoral Education Centre [FEEC].

 

Training is being conducted in all four Divisions with the breakdown as follows:

Division
Northern – 926

Central – 3626

Western – 2288

Eastern – 200

The FEO has intensified training in recent weeks and as of 14th November, 2017 there remain 5061 persons who are yet to be trained.

“These numbers will drop further as we progress with training and continuously update our System. With training sessions scheduled 3 times a day from Tuesday to Saturday every week, the FEO is confident that all successful applicants will be catered for in the coming weeks” said Director Corporate Services Sanjeshwar Ram.

“However, I urge applicants to ensure that their details submitted to the FEO are accurate. We have had instances where our training team has been unable to reach individuals because their mobile phones aren’t working.”

Mr Ram adds there are currently about 400 applicants who cannot be reached for confirmation of training, and they need to call 1501 or email eofficials@feo.org.fj to update their contact details. This is vital for individuals to confirm whether they have been selected for Election Officials half day training.

The FEO would also like to remind applicants who have attended training that they need to submit the following details: FNPF account number, Tax Identification Number and current active bank account details.

These details are necessary to process payment of allowances for persons who have attended the half day training.

Details for Round 2 of the Recruitment Drive will be announced in due course.

ENDS.

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at communications@feo.org.fj

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Commonwealth to Observe General Elections in Tonga

Secretary-General Patricia Scotland will deploy a Commonwealth Observer Group to observe general elections in Tonga, scheduled for 16 November 2017. This follows a formal invitation from the Government of Tonga.

In August 2017, King Tupou VI invoked Clause 38 of the Constitution to dissolve Tonga’s Legislative Assembly, and called for fresh elections to be held in November, more than a year before the planned date for the next elections.

“These elections are crucial for the people of Tonga as it strengthens the democratic process in the Kingdom,” said Secretary-General Scotland. “The Commonwealth observers will observe the elections and work closely with the observers from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in supporting Tonga’s democracy, national election and sharing best practice.”

Margaret Wilson, former Speaker of Parliament and Attorney-General of New Zealand, will lead the Commonwealth Observer Group.  The group will consider the pre-electoral environment, the poll, the count and declaration of results.

As with all Commonwealth Observer Groups, it will function with impartiality and independence, and will conduct itself according to the standards set out in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.

The Group will submit its final report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn share it with the Government of Tonga, the Tongan Electoral Commission, Speaker of Parliament, relevant civil society organisations and eventually with all Commonwealth governments and the public.

The Commonwealth Observer Group will be in Tonga from 9 to 20 November 2017.

Observer Group members:

Hon Margaret Wilson DNZM (Chairperson)
Former Speaker of Parliament
Former Attorney General,
Professor of Law
New Zealand

Mr Mohammed Saneem
Supervisor of Elections
Fiji

Mr Joseph Cain
Electoral Commissioner
Nauru

Ms Lomcebo Dlamini
Human Rights Lawyer
Swaziland

The Commonwealth Observer Group is supported by three-person Commonwealth Secretariat staff team led by Mr Albert Mariner.

Media contacts

Tonga
L. Albert Mariner
Head of Asia, Caribbean, Pacific Section,
Political Team, GPD
Commonwealth Secretariat
Tel: +676 886 0141
Email: a.mariner@commonwealth.int

London
Barnie Choudhury
Director, Media and Public Relations
Commonwealth Secretariat
Tel:  +44 20 7747 6382
Email:  b.choudhury@commonwealth.int

Source: http://thecommonwealth.org/media/press-release/commonwealth-observe-general-elections-tonga

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Tender for Election Material and Services

Statement by Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

Tender for Election Material and Services

03rd November, 2017

The Fijian Elections Office will be advertising second round of its election material and services procurement in tomorrow’s newspapers in line with its 2018 General Election preparation plans.

Tenders are invited for the following materials and services:

  1. Ballot Paper Printing
  2. Postal Voting Courier Services
  3. Supply of Polling Station Sheds

Expression of interest for supply of motor vehicles is also being advertised.

The FEO understands that some of these materials and services will require our suppliers to place their own material order overseas to be able to meet the quantity and specifications that we require.

Some of these materials may take significant time to arrive in Fiji. Some services may also need thorough planning with the FEO and thus the need to advertise and confirm the suppliers early.

The FEO also needs to ensure that it has confirmation from suppliers in terms of their ability to deliver at notice following the announcement of Election date. Advertising early will allow the FEO to verify the capacities of its suppliers to ensure that the election time plans are not affected.

I would like to touch on some specs for the tenders:

Ballot Paper Printing

The FEO will require the successful tenderer to demonstrate the ability to print, bind and supply ballot papers as per the plan. At the moment the FEO anticipates we may have approximately 630,000 voters.

Ballot papers for the next general election should have atleast 3 security features, bound in books of 50 ballots papers per book and each book is to be uniquely numbered to track the book.

Our Suppliers must have sufficient capacity to operate and deliver approximately 750,000 not exceeding 800,000 ballot papers with 12 days. Additional information is available on the FEO website.

Postal Voting Courier Services

For the 2018 General Election, the FEO has divided the globe into 4 regions in an attempt to streamline the distribution and return of Postal Ballots. It is noted that there may be companies that specialize in some of these regions while there are some that look at distribution worldwide.

The regions are as follows:

  • Local Fiji
  • Pacific Islands
  • Australia & New Zealand
  • Rest of the world

Supply of Polling Station Sheds

The FEO estimates it will require approximately 160 Polling Stations that will be in Sheds. These may be locations that do not have adequate facilities to be used as polling stations or where there are more voters than the available space at a venue.

This time we would like suppliers to provide a 7m x7m shed with side covers including 10 chairs and 3 tables. Also a Porta-loo as well as atleast 2 x 4ft Tube lights and 2 power outlets. We prefer that suppliers bid for all these items as a package.

Expression of Interest for Supply of Vehicles

Total 4×4

  • 115 for Election Day
  • 110 for Pre-poll
  • 45 for awareness

3 Tonne –

  • 100 for election day

5 Tonne –

  • 15

The FEO wishes to advise that in accordance with s13 of the Electoral Act, all suppliers and contractors of the FEO must remain apolitical and must not engage in any political or campaign activity whilst engaged by the FEO.

All tenders by the FEO will be scrutinized by a duly constituted Tender Committee who may require additional information or inspection of the capacities of the suppliers. Bidders are requested to ensure that the Committee has received necessary access to all required information.

Interested person must only contact the secretariat and we reserve the right to reject any tenders from bidders who may attempt to contact other FEO personnel.

The FEO duly considers value for money, quality and capacity and it is not necessary that we award the tender to the lowest bid.

Tenders close on 8 December 2017 at 4 pm.

ENDS.

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Political Campaigning Framework

Statement by Supervisor of Elections
Mr Mohammed Saneem
01st November 2017
Political Campaigning Framework

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank for your attendance.

As you are aware, the Writ for the 2018 General Election may be issued any time after 6 April 2018. Effectively, we may be 6 months away from the issue of Writ for the next General Election.

As such, as is obvious, we are now witnessing increased political campaign activities around the country. We are witnessing increased mobilization of political figures as well as seminars and related events by political parties and their nominees.

Political campaign messages and promises are also becoming prominent in the media, both official media as well as social media. It is expected that Political Parties, their nominees and workers will intensify their messaging in the coming months to garner support from the voters. Care must be taken particularly on social media to avoid vilification of religion or invasion of private space of individuals.

It has therefore become important for the Fijian Elections Office to remind the Political Parties, nominees of Political Parties, their workers as well as

prospective candidates to adhere to the Electoral Act, the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding & Disclosures) Act and the Code of Conduct.

We cannot emphasize enough that the most important stakeholder in an election is the voter and the election management body will at all times operate to protect the voter from unethical and unfair campaign practices. Voters must be allowed to exercise their rights to choose their preferred candidate and vote for them without any form of threat, intimidation or inducement.

It is common knowledge that campaigns can unscrupulously target potential groups of voters which may have negative effects on others. It is essential that information and language used in campaigns upholds the dignity of individuals. We would also add that campaigners must ensure that voters are not misled with incorrect information.

One of the fundamental tenets of ‘free and fair elections’ is ethical campaigns.

The Fijian Elections Office will refer any reports of malpractice in campaigns to FICAC for investigation. We may do so following the receipt of a report or we may do so in exercise of our own discretion as per s18 of the Electoral Act.

It is important to highlight certain legal requirements, responsibilities and restrictions when it comes to campaign as well.

The FEO has opened new complaints platform for voters to report any suspicious behavior resulting from campaigns directly through email – complaints@feo.org.fj or they can contact us on mobile 8912685. Letters addressed to the Supervisor of Elections can be hand delivered to any FEO office or posted to P.O.Box 2528, Government Buildings, Suva.

Lastly, ladies and gentlemen, as we progress into a more intensified campaign period, we urge all electoral stakeholders to exercise their rights and freedoms responsibly. We urge every voter to be conscious of their individual right to choose their own candidate and this right should not be compromised by any other individual. We are available to receive reports and action through law enforcement necessary remedies in the event any voter may feel their rights are being compromised.

Electoral Act

Campaign rules

116.—(1) Any political party, any candidate for election to Parliament and any person representing, or acting under the direction of, any political party or any candidate must—

(a)respect the rights and freedoms of all other political parties and candidates to campaign, and to disseminate their political ideas and principles without fear; and

(b)conduct itself in a manner that respects the rights of other political parties and candidates, and respects the rights of voters.

(3) Any political party, any candidate for election to Parliament and any person representing, or acting under the direction of, any political party or any candidate must not—

(c) use any language or publish or distribute pamphlets, newsletters or posters or make any broadcast containing language or material that amounts to racial or religious vilification or that threatens or incites violence;

(5) Any person who contravenes subsections (3) or (4) 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.

Prohibition on vote buying

114.—(1) It shall be unlawful for political parties, candidates and their representatives, either personally or through other persons, to give or offer to any citizen money, gifts, material goods of any value (except for campaign material) or services free of charge, to sell goods or services to persons at a preferential price, or to promise to provide any monetary fund, gift, material goods or services of any value for the purpose of gaining or influencing votes in an election.

(2) Any person who contravenes this section 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.

It is also necessary that we highlight the legal framework around funding and particularly on sources of funds for the purposes of campaign:

Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding & Disclosures) Act Sources of funds for a political party and independent candidate

21.—(1) The sources of funds for a political party shall only be from—

(a)membership fees;

(b)voluntary contributions, donations, bequests and grants from a lawful source, not being from a foreign government, inter-governmental or non-governmental organisation; and

(c)the proceeds of any investment, project or undertaking in which the political party has an interest.

(2) The sources of funds for an independent candidate shall only be from—

(a)voluntary contributions, donations, bequests and grants from a lawful source, not being from a foreign government, inter-governmental or non-governmental organisation; and

(b)the proceeds of any investment, project, or undertaking in which the independent candidate has an interest.

Political Parties and prospective Independent Candidates need to be mindful of the limitations in funding under s22 of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding & Disclosures) Act,

22.—(1) A political party or a candidate for election to Parliament (or any person on behalf of the political party who is involved in the administration of the affairs of the political party including any office holder of the political party, or any person on behalf of the candidate) who receives any political donation from a foreign government, inter-governmental or non- governmental organisation, or multilateral agency, commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or to both.

(2)Subject to subsection (6), any person who is a Fijian citizen or a former Fijian citizen shall not make any political donation to a political party or to a candidate for election to Parliament (or to any person on behalf of the political party who is involved in the administration of the affairs of the political party including any office holder of the political party, or to any person on behalf of the candidate) of an amount exceeding $10,000 in any one year (whether to one or more registered political parties or candidates).

(3)Any person who is not a Fijian citizen or a former Fijian citizen, shall not make a political donation to any political party or candidate for election to Parliament.

(4)A person who contravenes subsections (2) or (3) commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or to both.

(5)A political party or a candidate for election to Parliament (or any person on behalf of the political party who is involved in the administration of the affairs of the political party including any office holder of the political party, or any person on behalf of the candidate) who receives a political donation from any person who is not a Fijian citizen or former Fijian citizen, or receives a political donation exceeding $10,000 from a Fijian citizen or a former Fijian citizen, commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or to both, and in addition to the penalty imposed by this Decree, forfeit that amount to the State.

(6)Subsection (2) shall not apply to any political donation made by any founding member of the political party as political donation to the initial assets of the party within the first year of its existence.

(7)It shall be unlawful for any—

(a)political party;

(b)office holder of a political party;

(c)candidate for election to Parliament; or

(d)agent, campaigner or servant of a political party or candidate for election to Parliament,

to accept any political donation unless the political donation is from an individual.

(8) It shall be unlawful for any—

(a)political party;

(b)office holder of a political party;

(c)candidate for election to Parliament; or

(d)agent, campaigner or servant of a political party or candidate for election to Parliament, to accept any political donation from a company, a body corporate or any other entity.

(9) It shall be unlawful for any company, body corporate or any other entity to make any political donation to any—

(a)political party;

(b)office holder of a political party;

(c)candidate for election to Parliament; or

(d)agent, campaigner or servant of a political party or candidate for election to Parliament.

(10) It shall be unlawful for any company, body corporate or any other entity to make any payment or contribution to any individual for the purpose of that individual making a political donation to any—

(a)political party;

(b)office holder of a political party;

(c)candidate for election to Parliament; or

(d)agent, campaigner or servant of a political party or candidate for election to Parliament.

(11) It shall be unlawful for a company, a body corporate or any other entity to provide, and for any political party or candidate for election to Parliament (or any person on behalf of the political party who is involved in the administration of the affairs of the political party including any office holder of the political party, or any person on behalf of the candidate) to accept from a company, a body corporate or any other entity, any of the following—

(a) The full or part payment of expenditure for advertising by a political party or a candidate for election to Parliament; or

(b)the waiving of all or any part of payment of expenditure for advertising by a political party or candidate for election to Parliament.

(12)For the purposes of this section, “political donation” means a donation of money or goods and services, loan, credit facility, bond, share, negotiable security or property that is made at no charge, to a registered political party or to a candidate (or any person on behalf of the political party who is involved in the administration of the affairs of the political party including any office holder of the political party, or any person on behalf of the candidate), but does not include the labour of any person that is provided to a registered political party or to a candidate at no charge by that person.

(13)Any person who contravenes subsections (7), (8), (9), (10) and (11) commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or to both.”

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR POLITICAL PARTIES

1.Every political party shall strictly observe and comply with this code of conduct.

2.This code of conduct shall regulate the behaviour of members and office holders of political parties, aspiring candidates, candidates and their supporters, promote good

governance and eradicate political malpractices. 3. Every political party shall—

(a)respond to the interests, the concerns and the needs of the citizens of Fiji;

(b)respect and uphold the democratic process as they compete for political power so as to implement their policies;

(c)promote consensus building in policy decision making on issues of national importance;

(d)promote national patriotism and national unity; and

(e)respect, uphold and promote democratic values and principles, performing inclusive participation of political party members and accountable representation in governance.

4. Every political party shall—

(a)respect the right of all persons to participate in the political process;

(b)respect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law; and

(c)respect, uphold and promote human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non- discrimination.

5. Every political party shall—

(a)respect and uphold this Decree and any other written law relating to elections and political parties;

(b)respect and uphold their respective political party constitutions, political party election rules, political party nomination rules and any other political party rules and regulations developed and agreed upon in accordance with this code of conduct;

(c)respect, uphold and promote good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability;

(d)respect, uphold and promote democratic practices through regular, free, fair and credible elections within the political party and include having democratically elected office holders and political party organs; and

(e)perform transparency and accountability in all party policies, rules, structures, procedures and performance.

6. 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 others or any other communal antagonism.

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CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP ACCEPTED FOR OVERSEAS VOTER REGISTRATION

15 September, 2017                                    

The Fijian Elections Office [FEO] is two weeks away from beginning the registration of voters overseas.

Plans have already been put in place and the process of finalizing a lot of the venues is underway with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The FEO would like to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its assistance in the coordination of logistics and other facilitation in their host countries.

The requirements for registration is a valid Fiji Passport and the person has to be over the age of 18 years.

We have had requests for persons who now hold Certificates of Citizenship as to whether they are entitled to register.

Having considered the validity of a Certificate of Citizenship, the FEO has now decided that it will accept Certificates of Citizenship for registration purposes.

To this effect, if a person now carries a Certificate of Citizenship, they are able to produce the same to our registration clerks provided they are over the age of 18 years and obtain a voter card.

The schedule for Overseas Voter Registration is as follows:

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at communications@feo.org.fj

 

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Fiji National Polling Venue Directory Launch

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

Mr Suresh Chandra

Fiji National Polling Venue Directory Launch

Suva

6th September, 2017

10:00am

Ni sa Bula Vinaka and a very warm welcome to the Fijian Elections Office Ladies and Gentlemen.

I would like to begin by taking this opportunity to thank all of you for taking out your valuable time and accepting our invitation.

I would also like to thank His Excellency, The President, for his acknowledgment of the work of the Electoral Commission and the Fijian Elections Office.

His Excellency’s kind words have motived my team and provided great encouragement to the Supervisor of Elections and the Fijian Elections Office.

Under section 75 of the Constitution, the Electoral Commission is responsible for conducting free and fair elections in accordance with the legal and electoral framework. The next General Election in Fiji is in 2018 – next year.

Since our appointment this year, my commission agreed to approach the 2018 General Election strategically. We understood that the Fijian Elections Office had already been working on several aspects of the Election.

We knew that the innovative and committed group of individuals at the FEO needed our support and guidance and as such, we chose the theme ‘Raising the Standards in the Delivery of Elections in Fiji’.

For the first time in Fiji’s history, the probable locations of Polling

Venues around the country have been identified and published as an annual publication.

Ladies and gentlemen, this means that electoral information will become increasingly available. At the moment we anticipate to have 2,149 Polling Stations throughout the country.

In March this year, the Director Operations explained how these venues were decided. Whilst these printed volumes are for school libraries, anyone can access the online version at the FEO website. I particularly like the feature online that can give you directions to your allocated Polling Venue.

I would like to commend the Fijian Elections Office for its vision to extend a copy of the Fiji National Polling Venues Directory to each Secondary School Library in Fiji during National Library Week.

Indeed, this will allow our young Fijians the opportunity and exposure to elections right from school. When we come for Voter Registration next time to schools, students will already have a resource to identify the 3 preferred Polling venues through this resource.

I would like to thank Ravneel Chand from the FEO who undertook this project. It was done well and looks very attractive. Keep up the good work.

Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu.

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FEO Appointed to AWEB Executive Board

The Supervisor of Elections has been elected to the Executive Board of Association of World Election Bodies representing the Oceania Region on behalf of the Fijian Elections Office. This is the first time an Oceania seat has been included in the AWEB executive board.

AWEB is made up of 106 election Management Bodies from around the world. It also has 18 international partner agencies.

The Supervisor of Elections is currently in Romania attending the 3rd General Assembly for AWEB.

‘I am grateful to my colleagues in the Pacific for their trust and confidence in Fiji to be able to carry out this new responsibility and I look forward to the challenge” Mr. Saneem said.

Since its establishment in 2014, the Fijian Elections Office is now represented at the board level in Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand electoral network, Commonwealth Electoral Network as well as now the Association of World Election Bodies.

-Ends-

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Electoral Commission’s Speech for Election Officials Training

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission
Mr Suresh Chandra
2018 General Election – Election Officials Training
Suva
29th August, 2017
10:00am

Bula Vinaka ladies and gentlemen and thank you very much for attending this training.

I am extremely pleased to be present here this morning along with my fellow commissioners as we commence the Election Officials training for the 2018 General Election.

This is a milestone event in terms of the Electoral Calendar as we anticipate that the Election could be between April and November in 2018.

The Fijian Elections Office has completed recruitment in some parts of the country and is still continuing with the Recruitment Drive in other parts, but based on the plans that the Fijian Elections Office had, people who attend the Recruitment Drive on the first week have been processed and are now at the stage of training.

So all of you in front of me have been processed from the first week of recruitment and are now attending this first training session.

Ladies and gentlemen, as we commence the training of Election Officials, I wanted to sound a few reminders to all persons who may be interested to work in the 2018 General Elections:

To work in the 2018 General Election, we need people with the highest level of integrity, who can come and carry out the responsibilities of the Election Officials without fear or favour and in a very apolitical manner.

Election Officials must remain honest at all times and ensure that all the procedures prescribed the Fijian Elections Office and the Electoral Commission are followed to the letter.

The Election Officials determine the credibility of each election and it is very important that when you are handling the task of Election Officials, you must do so as per the procedures that have been prescribed for these positions.

Ladies and gentlemen, being an Election Official does not only mean that you are looking forward to the salary at the end of the day but this is a great service to the country and when one is called upon to serve their country, they must do so with utmost faith and honesty.

It is important that you ensure that you carry out your roles diligently and in a manner that is not only done – but is seen by the members of the public to have been done right.

Following the 2014 General Election, the Multi-National Observer Group gave high marks to the Election Officials. Ladies and gentlemen, we have to aim higher for the next election.

The Electoral Commission has chosen the theme ‘Raising the Standards in the Delivery of Elections in Fiji’ for the next General Election and it is our responsibility, both yours and mine, to ensure that the tenets of this theme are obtained.

Having said all of that ladies and gentlemen, I would like to congratulate you for  completing the recruitment process and now attending this training and I wish you all the very best for this workshop and I now declare the training for the 2018 General Election – Election Officials training program officially open.

Thank you, Vinaka vakalevu and Dhanyavad.

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at communications@feo.org.fj

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2018 General Election – Election Officials Recruitment Drive Update

Statement by the Supervisor of Elections
Mr Mohammed Saneem
2018 General Election – Election Officials Recruitment Drive Update
25th August, 2017
11:00am – FEO HQ – EC Conference Room

Bula Vinaka ladies and gentlemen and a very good morning to you all.

I thank you for all for coming to this press conference where we will give you an update on our Recruitment Drive and what will happen after it.

The 2018 General Election – Election Officials Recruitment Drive is scheduled to finish on the 27th of August, 2017 at major town centres around the country.

The Recruitment Drive commenced on the 28th of July, 2017 and was run periodically around the
various town centres around the country.

The Fijian Elections Office would like to begin by offering its greatest appreciation to all the site owners that gave us their buildings as well as school administrators for allowing us time to use the classrooms during this holidays to conduct the Recruitment Drive. Thank you very much.

Coming to the numbers in terms of recruitment, as we had earlier advertised, the Fijian Elections Office was looking for applications of up to 17,000 Fijians.

17,000 applications would allow us sufficient opportunity to conduct a very rigorous, merit based selection process to identify the best candidates to work at the polling stations around the country.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have worked out based on the current number of polling stations, which is 2149, that the FEO will actually need around 10,102 Election Officials and 12,522 is what we are looking for.

In actual fact ladies and gentlemen, we can do with the 10,102 applications. Our requirements for each divisions are as follows:

In terms of Divisions, we need 4660 staff in the Central Division. We need 3673 staff in the Western Division and 1600 in the Northern division and around 169 staff in the eastern division.
Our statistics as at yesterday’s recruitment are as follows:

In the Central Division, we have received 5074 applications. In the Western Division, we have received 2885 applications and in the Northern Division we have received 1355 applications. We have not yet started the Recruitment Drive in the Eastern Division which will take place in Tavuki, Kadavu and in Levuka in September.

Therefore ladies and gentlemen, we have now received a total of 9314 applications as at last night. This has given us sufficient number of individuals for us to start training.

Before I go any further, I would just like to mention that we still have positions available for around 1000 people in the Western Division and around 400 people in the Northern Division which we hope will be filled tomorrow and Sunday during the opening hours of the Recruitment
Drive.

Coming back to the training ladies and gentlemen, training for Election Officials who have sat the test will commence next week. We understand that there is a lot of eagerness amongst applicants to find out when they will be invited for training.

As we have stated before, you will be notified through a text message as to when they can come and attend training. We will also try and publish the training locations and the reference numbers allocated to those training on the FEO website.

Any confusions arising out of this can be clarified by calling the number 1501.

The training will be conducted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from the coming week. Trainings will be conducted during the morning sessions, afternoon sessions or evening sessions on these days. And priorities and allocations of persons will be made based on the person’s selected choice at the time of making the application.

If you are unable to attend at the time of the training allocated to you, please contact the Recruitment Assistants to change your allocated time.

The training venues for the next week’s training will be as follows:

Patel Samaj Hall, Suva; Nasinu Town Council Hall; Catholic Parish Hall, Nausori; Red Cross Hall, Lautoka and the Friendly North Inn Conference Hall, Labasa.

I just wanted to also mention that not everybody has to be trained in the first week. Do not rush. The trainings will continue until every person who has applied has attended the training.

Also, it is important that when you come for training, if you have not brought any of the required documents till now, you must bring it at training.

In the event you do not bring all the required documents like the bank statement at the training, we will not be able to process your pay and therefore it is important you ensure all your documents are up to date with us.

Attending of the training comes with an allowance $45 inclusive of your FNPF and other taxes and this will be deducted before you are paid.

So ladies and gentlemen, the Recruitment Drive is now in its last few days and we invite any Fijian, who has not yet found the time or the opportunity, to now take advantage of these last few days so that you can be included in the first round of the Election Officials Recruitment Drive for the next General Election.

Thank you very much for your time ladies and gentlemen.

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at communications@feo.org.fj

Click here to download the pdf

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