In accordance with section 154 of the Electoral Decree, 2014, the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] has implemented the following guidelines to organize Trade Union elections. The guidelines stated below specify the minimum standards that FEO will uphold in every Trade Union election to enhance transparency and ensure accountability.
All elections will be organized in accordance with the rules of the organization, however the standards below will be incorporated into the process.
Notice of intention to hold elections
The Trade Union will notify FEO of the intention to organize an election at least six (6) weeks prior to the date fixed for the holding of such elections. The notification should contain the following information:
1. Total number of registered members of the Trade Union who are entitled to vote,
2. Positions that will be contested for,
3. Copy of the registered Constitution of the Union and all amendments registered thereafter which contains specifics on the type of electoral system to be used, the nomination criteria and all other details on the election rules,
4. Contact details of secretariat should FEO require more information.
The Trade Union may also notify FEO of the intention to organize the election and then work with FEO to finalize the timeline for election.
Notice of Trade Union Election
Upon receipt of notice from the Trade Union, FEO will publish in the gazette and daily newspapers, a Notice of the Trade Union Election at least 4 weeks prior to the Election or earlier if prescribed by the rules of the Union. Such notice will contain:
1. List of offices for which nominations are being sought
2. List of places where nomination forms may be obtained
3. Details about the date, time and place(s) where nominations may be filed together with conditions, if any, as per the rules of the Trade Union,
4. Final date and time for withdrawal of nominations
5. Total number of members who are eligible to vote in the election(s)
6. Date, times and locations where voting is to take place.
The FEO will designate places for the filing of nominations and also prescribe the time lines and conditions associated with nominations. All nominations will be assessed against the Trade Union rules of eligibility. Following the verification of the nominations, FEO will publish the list of candidates for the election. The secretariat of the Trade Union will circulate the list to all members as far as practicable.
The FEO will prepare the ballot paper as per the requirements of the election. Ballot papers will be printed in sufficient quantities in accordance with the total number of voters plus an additional number to be determined by the Supervisor of Elections for contingencies.
List of Voters
The Secretariat of the Trade Union should forward to the FEO a list of eligible members who are entitled to vote in the Election (as per the rules and requirements of the Union) within one (1) week of the Notice of Intention to hold Trade Union Election. This list should contain the full name, address, occupation, name of employer and location.
The list should also contain a list of members who do not qualify to vote with exact reasons. Members who are not qualified to vote, may within five (5) days before Nominations begin, fulfil the necessary requirements to be registered on the Roll of Voters.
The List of Voters will be made available to the Candidates on the payment of a minimal fee through the Secretariat of the Union and must be made available to every candidate upon request.
Polling on the day of election(s) will be officiated by FEO officials at the locations advertised in the Notice of Trade Union Election. Candidates are permitted to organize agents to be present during voting as observers.
Voting will be by Secret Ballot and only authorized persons are permitted to remain inside a Voting Place.
Unless Polling is to be conducted on a number of days, counting will be carried out at the location where voting takes place and results from that Voting Place will be announced following the Count.
Following the conclusion of the Count, the FEO will announce the results for each candidate. FEO will also announce the final list of new office bearers.
Thereafter, FEO will publish a notice in the Gazette and daily newspaper containing the following information:
1. Total number of persons on the voter list who were eligible to vote
2. Total number of ballot papers issued
3. Total number of votes cast
4. Total number of invalid votes
5. Final Results of the Election for each candidate
6. Final List of elected Office bearers and term
The FEO will also prepare a final report on the election and forward a copy to the Registrar of Trade Unions and the Union Secretariat.