Speech by the Supervisor of Elections
H.E. Mr.Mark Ramsden,
Colleagues from the Fijian Elections Office,
And the media
Bula Vinaka and a very good morning to you all.
I would like to welcome you all to the three day workshop on an internationally recognised electoral programme ‘Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections’ [BRIDGE].
All BRIDGE training programs are organised in line with FEO’s Strategic Plan Goal 8 which is to enhance knowledge and skills of the FEO staff and stakeholders through training and capacity building.
The BRIDGE Module titled ‘Introduction to Elections’ will provide participants with valuable knowledge about elections – the processes that are involved, as well as allow participants to conduct comparisons with practices from the region.
Organised by the FEO education and capacity building arm, Fijian Electoral Education Centre [FEEC], the workshop reflects on the need for political party agent training for the 2018 General Election as highlighted by the Multinational Observer Group [MOG].
The MOG Report states 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’.
Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, in line with this reflection, FEO has conducted seven  BRIDGE training workshops since 2015.
To give effect to the Multinational Observer Group Report recommendations, FEO has opted to obtain services of a highly accredited international facilitator, Mr. Brian Latham, and also a very learned set of co-facilitators in the field of elections.
The lead facilitator for the workshop Mr. Latham comes with a broad experience in BRIDGE. In the BRIDGE field for the past thirteen  years, Mr Latham has worked as a lead/accrediting facilitator,facilitator and participant in various BRIDGE workshops globally including Civic Education Module Workshop – Leadership Post-Conflict in Nepal, Voter Education and Gender and Election Modules in Australia, Train-the-Facilitator in Fiji and Indonesia amongst numerous other workshops.
This will be the second workshop Mr. Latham will be facilitating for Political Parties, the first being an Electoral Contestants module and Introduction to Electoral Administration module in Bhutan in 2012.
Ms Hamidan Bibi is one of the co-facilitators who also comes with a vast experience in BRIDGE having nine  years of experience as the International Accredited Workshop Facilitator/Trainer for BRIDGE International Project for over 23 modules, including Training the Facilitators.
The second co-facilitator, Ms Ana Mataiciwa, Legal Compliance Coordinator at the Fijian Elections Office [FEO], is a fully accredited BRIDGE Facilitator and has experience in facilitating the ‘Introduction to Election’, ‘Election Security’ and ‘Disabilities Rights and Election Training’ Modules.
On behalf of the Fijian Elections Office, I wish you all the best for the three  days workshop and urge all participants to pick up on key basic knowledge in the field of election which will assist them to better prepare themselves and their parties for future elections.
Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu