Bula Vinaka ladies and gentlemen. I would like to give you an update on the nominations process that has now reached Day 13.

Four Political Parties have submitted their nominations and we have received a total of 178 nomination from the four Political Parties.

FijiFirst filled its nomination with the FEO on 8 October, 2018 and we have completed the processing of the nomination for FijiFirst.

Out of the 51 nominated candidates for FijiFirst, the Fijian Elections Office approved 50. The nomination for one nominee, Ms Naziah Ali was not
approved on the basis of not being in the country for the requisite of minimum 18 months after the two years immediately preceding the writ.

We have referred the results of the nomination process to the party and they have until midday tomorrow in the event they wish to nominate another
candidate in place of the person who was not approved or alternatively file an appeal with the Electoral Commission for reconsideration of the decision
on 16 October, 2018.

The second party that nominated was SODELPA. The party attempted to file its nomination on 9 October, 2018, however, due to its failure to comply with
the requirements of the nomination process as in the law to produce a bank cheque, the party was asked to return with its nominations at a later date
once it had either a legal tender or bank cheque in the sum of $51,000 for its 51 candidates.

Thereafter, the party filed its nomination on 11 October, 2018, and of the 51 candidates that were nominated by SODELPA, the FEO has approved 50
candidates and rejected the nomination of one candidate.

The nomination for Mr Adi Narayan has not been approved on the basis of non-confirmation of his status as it appears to be a dual citizenship.

The information has been conveyed to SODELPA Secretariat and they have until tomorrow midday to replace the candidate that has not been approved
or they could alternatively file an appeal with the Electoral Commission on Tuesday, 16 October, 2018 should they wish to do so.

The third Political Party that nominated was the National Federation Party also on 11 October, 2018.

The Fijian Elections Office has completed the processing of the nomination of the National Federation Party and 50 candidates from the Political Party
have been approved and one candidate did not meet the as per the Electoral Act to be in the country for 18 months out of the 24 months preceding the
date of the writ.

The Candidate, Mr Feroz Mohammed was out of the country around 228 days and as a result did not meet the requirements set out by the Electoral Act.

The National Federation Party has been informed of the decision and in the event they wish to do so, they can replace a candidate by midday tomorrow
or alternatively they can appeal to the Electoral Commission on 16 October, 2018.

The last party that has filed it nomination with us was the Fiji Labour Party which filed its nominations on 12 October, 2018, and they nominated
twenty-five candidates.

The Fijian Elections Office has completed the processing of all 25 candidates and following this we have informed the Fiji Labour Party that 22 candidates
have been approved and three nomination have not been approved as the nominees have been found to have prior criminal convictions that
disqualifies them under the Electoral Act. 4

The Fiji Labour Party may replace the candidates by midday tomorrow or alternatively file an appeal to the Electoral Commission on 16 October, 2018
before 4pm.

Ladies and gentlemen, as I said, today is Day 13 in the Electoral Calendar and the nominations for the 2018 General Election will close tomorrow at
midday.

The Fijian Elections Office will not accept any further nominations after midday and any political party that nominates tomorrow and a decision is
not made by midday, they will not be able to replace a candidate if we have not approved any of the nominations that have been filed with us.

Ladies and gentlemen I just wanted to also mention at this stage the processing time for political party nominations has vastly improved due to
the FEO and all the agency partners that prepared for this General Election.

I wish to convey our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Office of the Chief Registrar, the Crime Records of the Fiji Police Force, the Department of
Immigration and the Official Receivers Office for their assistance provided to us in expeditiously dealing with all the nominations that are lodged with the
Fijian Elections Office.

The FEO has kept well within its 48-hour time promise for processing of nominations and we would like to ensure that all nominations that we
receive by midday tomorrow are approved by us so that we can reach the newspapers for Tuesday.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Objections and Appeals period will start on Tuesday and any person who wishes to do so will be able to access the list of
candidates firstly from the FEO Website and our social media pages and if we are able to get it done on time, in the Tuesday newspaper.

We will inform all Fijians of the locations where you may be able to access the list of approved candidates.

The Electoral Commission website has the forms available for you to access in terms of appeals and objections so ladies and gentlemen, in total we have
processed 178 nominations.

The total approved candidates stands at 172. And the total number of candidates nominated that have not been approved is 6.

Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu.

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission,

Electoral Commissioners,

Members of the Diplomatic Corp,

Invited Guests,

Members of the Media.

Bula vinaka ladies and gentlemen.

I’d like to begin by thanking the Chairperson for his statement and remarks, it is greatly encouraging to receive such a statement from the boss in the morning as we proceed to another important week this week ladies and gentlemen.

From our part, the Fijian Election Office has ensured that all our goals and outcomes are not only focused on the better delivery of the 2018 General Election but also sets the foundation for an improved election in the future.

It’s about time we Fijians stop discouraging ourselves from thinking that we are too far behind or that we cannot achieve something just because we are from the tiny dot in the world map.

I refuse to subscribe to this line of thought and anyone who pushes this idea.

Ladies and gentlemen, this morning we have proven that if you set your mind beyond your comfort zone you achieve anything.

I still remember the day I had the idea discussed with Vijendra and his response was – “Yes, I can do it.”

Congratulations Vijendra, it’s in our hands literally and you have done it. Thank you.

The website idea also started from the famous whiteboard at the office where majority of the initiatives has taken shape from squares and text on a whiteboard – the possibilities have become endless.

Nathienial has pulled through very well and here we are ladies and gentlemen, we have a result website that can allow anyone who accesses it direct results at their comfort.

We have now progressed from the traditional result announcement on the media onto more direct accessible and available platforms.

Considering 40% of our population are below the age of 40, these will become the initiative of today for the future.

I am also very thankful to the team that work tirelessly in compiling the special edition of the Lavetiviti. My sincere thanks to Mario, Lynette, Shivika, Elesi, James, Jiuta, Darshani, Edwin, Arin, Shane, Riaz, Shelvin and everyone else who pitched in to have this publication ready.

I am sure it will make healthy reading particularly for our observers.

 

This morning we have also launched the live feed of our warehouse facility.

We had previously announced that there will be various locations that will be under guard and cameras will be placed to be live 24/7 on the internet so that you can also view the stored ballot

boxes from your mobile phones or your personal computers.

The live feed that we demo to you today will be placed on the Count Centre, Result Centre as well as the packing arena as we have advised.

We want Fijians to be able to see the actual process taking place.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the 2018 General Election, we will try our best to show the election process for all voters and Fijians to decide.

At the end of the day in this process there will be a winner and those who do not have a majority – this how democracy works.

I’d like to thank all our distinguished invited guests for taking out their time from their busy schedule and attending this event.

A special thanks to Mrs Paulini Lavetiviti who has accepted our invitation to join us on this occasion.

I wished to the Chair and the members of the Commission and the team from the Fijian Election Office and our media partners for their attendance.

Vinaka.

As of 03 July, 2018, the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] has lifted the temporary freeze on the amendment of voter details in the Western Division which was placed to prevent possibility of fraudulent changes for the homecare initiative.

Voters who have to update their details can visit the nearest FEO Office or Voters Services Centre to make necessary changes.

-Ends-

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

07/06/18

 

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                       

Electoral Commission receives vehicle from Government of India

Indian High Commissioner, Mr Vishvas Sapkal with The Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mr Suresh Chandra at the Vehicle handover ceremony

The Electoral Commission this morning received a vehicle donated by the Indian Government through the Indian High Commission.

In taking delivery of the vehicle, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mr Suresh Chandra told the Indian High Commissioner, Mr Vishvas Sapkal, that it would boost their preparations for the 2018 General Election.

“An election poses to be the largest logistics exercise that any country would conduct in peace time,” Mr Chandra said.

“Such a massive operation must always be supported by the presence of logistics equipment such as vehicles for transport.

“Considering the effort that is required to conduct an election in a day as well as the requirements for the logistics of the Electoral Commission in travelling to and from other engagements, such an important gesture by the Indian Government will go a long way in facilitating the requirements of elections.”

Mr Sapkal informed Mr Chandra that the Government of India intends to further furnish the Electoral Commission with four more vehicles.

Mr Chandra said commended the effort of the High Commission of India for strengthening relations between the Government of India and Electoral Commission and the Fijian Elections Office.

“With the assistance of the our international partners and the support of our local stakeholders, we intend to make the 2018 General Election a platform for all Fijians to express their will with Confidence, Security and Freedom,” he said.

The Indian High Commission earlier donated indelible ink to the FEO for use in the 2018 General Election.

-Ends-

Statement by Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

Updated Voter Roll Statistics

FEO HQ Conference Room- 06/06/18-11.00am

The Supervisor of Elections, Mr Mohammed Saneem

Bula Vinaka ladies and gentlemen of the media and welcome to the Fijian Elections Office [FEO].

Ladies and gentlemen, after a thorough verification and adjudication process, the FEO has finalised the Voter Roll as at 31st May, 2018.

We have a total of 636,764 registered voters and the breakdown is as follows:

In the Central Division, there are 265,745 registered voters;

In the Eastern Division, we have recorded 26,006 registered voters;

From the Western Division, the FEO has registered 243,569 Voters; and

From the Northern Division, the number of registered voters stand at 94,954.

There are 7490 voters who have registered overseas and would be eligible to cast their vote via postal ballot.

Of the total number of voters, 67,829 will be voting via pre-poll, and 568,943 are Election Day voters.

Data March 2017 25 July 2017
Male 307,526 313,453
Female 298,471 303,137
Total Registered 605,997 616,590

On 26th July, 2017, the Central Division had 258, 849 voters, Western Division had 230,058, the Northern Division had 94, 577 and the Eastern Division had 26, 836 voters.

Ladies and gentlemen, our current tally of registered voters represents a 7.17 percent increase from 2014 General Election when we had 591,101 registered voters.

The FEO has noted a gradual, annual increase in voters over the last 4 years.

The increase in registered voters can be attributed to the annual Voter Registration Drive for Schools, the opening of Voter Services Centres around Fiji, and requests for voter registration from businesses and government entities.

One of the largest contributors has the recent Know Your Election campaign from March to April 2018 where we sent teams to all villages and communities to register voters.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Voters Roll is still available at our various Voter Service Centres around the country.

We are encouraging voters to check their details on the Voter Roll and to inform us if any of the details are incorrect so that we may make necessary amendments before the 2018 General Election.

The update of the Voter Roll isn’t just about checking the number of Fijians registered to vote – it is a meticulous exercise to account for every individual captured in the National Register of Voters.

One of the processes in ensuring that a clean and updated voter roll is maintained, is the verification and removal of deceased voters which is a legislative requirement under the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act.

Deceased voters are only removed upon confirmation from the next of kin. This may limit the removal of deceased persons depending on consistency of information provided from the Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) Department.

Therefore, we are requesting family members, friends or members of communities to please inform us if there is someone on the voter roll who has passed away and should be removed.

This would greatly assist the FEO in ensuring that we capture the correct number of voters expected to turn up to cast their vote on Election Day.

The number of deceased voters indicated by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Department since 2012 is 38,519 and we matched 9,307 with our EVR data.

So far, we have removed a total of 13,380 deceased voters from the roll including 3,681 in 2018.

We do not want to remove people without getting confirmation from family members or the next of kin.

Having deceased voters on the Roll will also impact our voter turnout statistics as they will be counted in the percentage that would not have voted.

The FEO has a Confirmation of Deceased Voter Form available at all our Voter Services Centres Fiji wide, so we have made it simple for individuals to provide this vital information to us.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you would be aware, the registration of voters will cease on the day that the Writ of Election is issued.

Therefore eligible Fijians who still have not registered can still register.

Our Voter Services Centres around Fiji will continue to provide this service until such time as when the Writ is issued.

The Fijian Elections Office is also finalising logistics around the Overseas Voter Registration Drive which begins on the 15th of this month.

We are still receiving Expressions of Interest from eligible Fijians who wish to register for the 2018 General Election.

This may very well be the last opportunity that the FEO has to register voters overseas and so we encourage interested persons to get in touch with our office at the earliest.

Ladies and gentlemen, this Voter Roll is not final as the Fijian Elections Office will continue adjudication and verification of the Voter Roll until the Writ for the 2018 General Election is issued and that is when the National Register of Voters must be finalised.

Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu.

Statement by the Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

2018 Overseas Voter Registration Drive

FEO HQ – 21 May, 2018

The Supervisor of Elections, Mr Mohammed Saneem

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

The Fijian Elections Office [FEO] plans to embark on another Overseas Voter Registration [OVR] Drive in June as part of our continuing preparations for the 2018 General Election.

This is possible due to the continuing calendar of Parliament which has presented the FEO with an opportunity to engage in this round of overseas voter registrations and conduct awareness for our voters overseas.

Currently, our OVR teams are being planned to visit Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America between the 15th and the 30th of June 2018.

We have once again requested the assistance of the Fiji Missions in the respective countries through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help in reaching out to the Fijian communities in these countries to help us identify locations where there is a demand for voter services.

Individuals/communities community reps can also directly contact EVR Coordinator Litia Sema on litia.sema@feo.org.fj and +679 9002292 to register their interest.

The mandatory requirement to achieve registration is production of a valid Fiji Passport.

The FEO will also accept Certificate of Citizenship for registration for those who may not have received their Fiji Passport yet.

During the last overseas registration drive, our teams managed to provide services to 2900 voters overseas including 696 new registrations.

Voters registered overseas will only be able to vote through postal voting in the 2018 General Election.

Vinaka Vakalevu.

 

 

The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) will be extending the Contract Signing/ EO package distribution period from 14 to 19 May 2018. This will accommodate the Election Official (EO) applicants who are yet to sign their contracts.

After 21 May 2018, those applicants who have not signed their contracts will be replaced by EO applicants from the reserve pool.

The table below consist of all Eos name who have been assigned to the Polling Station and are yet to sign their contracts.

If your name appears on this listing, you may call the FEO officials hotline on 8917758 or 8971159 or email via eofficials@feo.org.fj to:

1. Update your personal details

2.Time, date and venue of current Contract Signing Venues

The FEO wishes to congratulate all the Eos who have already accepted and signed their contracts with us.

You can view the pdf listing by clicking here.

 

 

Statement by the Deputy Supervisor of Elections

Ms Karyl Winter
Indelible Ink Handover
FEO Warehouse – 10 May, 2018

Ni sa Bula Vinaka and a very warm welcome to this handover ceremony this morning ladies and gentlemen.

As you all know that the General Election will be held later this year and we at the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] are doing everything we can to ensure that our preparations are up to par.

Ladiesand gentlemen, this handover ceremony ispart of our readiness and we are very thankful to the Indian Government and the Indian High Commission for their assistance in providing us with indelible ink.

Indelible ink also known as electoral ink, phosphoric ink is a semi-permanent ink that is applied to the index finger or little finger on the left hand of voters during elections in a bid to prevent electoral fraud such as double voting.

Indelible ink is made of a chemical compound called silver nitrate. When applied to the skin and exposed to ultraviolet light, it leaves a mark that is almost impossible to wash off.

Our Polling Day Workers check the fingers of voters before they walk into the Polling Station on Election Day and if they are found to have their fingers marked already, they would be requested to leave as it would mean they have already voted.

Ladies and gentlemen, those voters whose fingers do not have any marks on their fingers are allowed to enter the polling station where their ID and details will be checked and they will be issued with a ballot paper.

They will proceed to a cardboard voting screen where they will mark their ballot paper and then move on to the next station where the inking official will mark the index finger or little finger of the voter by dipping it in the ink bottle.

After that, the voter will drop his/her marked ballot paper in the ballot box and exit the polling station.

That is basically a run through of a polling station and how the indelible ink will be used on the day of election.

Ladies and gentlemen those voters who cast their ballot through pre-poll will also have their fingers marked after they have placed their marked ballot paper inside the secret envelope.

Having such measures as the indelible ink to ensure there is no double voting is essential as it puts faith in the system we have that there will be no room for rigging or manipulation of the system.

 

The mark on the voters finger is a matter of pride for the voter as a voter discharged his/her responsibility to the nation and to themselves for the next four years.

Every voter should carry the indelible ink marked finger with national pride as it is a sign of loyalty and patriotism.

Ladies and gentlemen, an election is not only about politicians and political parties campaigning against each other to form a government but it is more about instilling national pride and ownership every person who marks a vote on Election Day demonstrates their love affection and ownership to a country in which they live in.

Indelible Ink used in the Fijian electoral process acts as a confirmation of a vote but on the flip side allows the FEO and the political parties to verify and ensure that a person only votes once in our election.

This is critical considering every polling place caters for a maximum of 500 voters.

As highlighted in previous observer reports, we would like to ensure that there is no double voting or turn out in excess of registered voters at a polling venue.

Ladies and gentlemen, Fijian elections stands at a point where there is very high levels of reconciliation and accountability at both polling station level and national level and this gives voters the added security and confidence in the electoral system.

The FEO has benefitted widely from trainings and capacity building programs as well as invites to various international forums conducted in India and the assistance through provision of Indelible Ink, for which India is renowned for, is highly appreciated.

With those few words ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your attendance here today.

Vinaka Vakalevu.

Statement by the Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

Political Funding

3pm – FEO HQ – Suva

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen and thank you very much for accepting our invitation.

As we are all aware, 2018 is Election year and as we progress towards the General Election, the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] is noting an increased number of announcements by Political Parties as well as expressions by individuals in the interest of taking up candidate positions in the Election.

We would like to make it clear that until and unless the Writ is issued and Nominations are received, no one is a Fijian Elections Office approved candidate. We have noted that various Parties have advertised provisional candidates, however I would like to clarify that there’s no such thing as an official provisional candidate in the law.

Nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen, following the announcement of various persons, various Parties are now picking up in terms of their funding raising activities and it is the Fijian Elections Office responsibility to highlight to the general public as well as interested persons and Parties the rules and the legal framework around Political Funding.

It is important to highlight at this point that following the General Audit of all Political Parties by the Office of the Auditor General, a common feature in reports for most of the Parties is that there is a lack of tracking in terms of records of revenue obtained by the Party.

This is because there are – at some occasions due to the nature of the Political Parties – monies received by individuals who are maybe provisional candidates as announced by the Parties, and as such they may receive money, carry out funding and not issue receipts from the Party or even themselves.

This is of course a problem when it comes to an individual because in one financial year, a person is only allowed to donate up to $10,000 to either one party or to many Parties up to a maximum of $10,000 only.

In that regard, if the person does not have receipts for monies donated, the individual may find themselves in some legal problems in the event the FEO receives a complaint, and is investigated.

Therefore, I will now read out the relevant provisions from the Political Parties Act to assist individuals, Party Agents, Party Officials and Political Parties themselves – in understanding the Political Funding framework so that the 2018 General Election in terms of political funding for them – is proper.

I would also like to mention that on page 12 [Section 3.2] of the Multinational Observer Group [MOG] Report, the MOG found that the Political Funding reporting requirements in Fiji were consistent with international best practice and therefore I urge all Parties, persons and individuals to comply with the relevant provisions regarding Political Funding and ensure that necessary declarations and disclosures are made as per the requirements of the law.

Thank you.