Closing Remarks, Fijian Electoral Commission Chairman, Mr Chen Bunn Young
The Supervisor of Elections,
Colleagues from the Fijian Elections Office.
It is my pleasure to join you for the closing of this training program on an internationally recognised electoral programme ‘Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections’ [BRIDGE].
But first of all I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] for organizing this important BRIDGE training program ‘Introduction to Elections’.
I understand FEO embarked on this early commission of training for political party agent to give effect to the Multinational Observer Group [MOG] Report recommendations.
The MOG report stated that ‘more comprehensive training for party polling agents on their role and responsibilities in the electoral process should be provided by political parties or other responsible bodies’.
This BRIDGE Module had provided participants with valuable knowledge about elections – the processes that are involved, as well as allowed participants to conduct comparisons with practices from the region.
I would like to thank all of you here for making this training a success through your valuable contributions and active participation throughout the training and especially during the question and answer sessions.
The aim of this training was to provoke discussions among members of different political parties and FEO over the best ways to conduct the 2018 general elections.
And a special appreciation to the lead facilitator for the workshop Mr. Brian Latham and co facilitators, Ms Hamidan Bibi and Ms Ana Mataiciwa for an excellent coordination and execution of this training program.
As the three days training program concludes today, my message to the political parties as we lead up to 2018 general elections, is for political parties to maintain constant contact with FEO and take advantage of such trainings, so that they are well versed with the best electoral practices.
I urge all the political parties to assist FEO in creating voter awareness, and become advocates in promoting to electorates the importance of participating in electoral process. This electoral capacity building should be carried out on a continuous basis and not just to the lead up to the 2018 general elections.
This is our closing ceremony but I hope this closing will not be the end but the beginning of our concerted efforts on sharing best international electoral practices.
Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu