Fiji appointed Pacific rep to the Commonwealth Electoral Network

Election Management Body (EMB) Reps from the Pacific Region have nominated Fiji to the eight-member Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Electoral Network [CEN] at the 2016 CEN Biennial Conference in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

Mr. Saneem (left) presents a report on Gender Mainstreaming in Pacific elections while Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Josephine Ojiambo (third from left) listens to his presentation during the 2016 CEN Biennial Conference.

The CEN was launched in 2010 by the Commonwealth Secretariat after it was endorsed by the Commonwealth Heads of Government. The Network promotes capacity building of Commonwealth election management bodies in conducting credible and inclusive elections in line with international best practices.

The Steering Committee of the CEN is composed of national election commissioners of Commonwealth member countries. The Chairperson of the Election and Boundaries Commission of Trinidad & Tobago, Mr. Mark Ramkerrysingh, has taken over Chairmanship of the CEN from Mr. Ahmed Issack Hassan, Chairperson of the Kenyan Electoral Commission.
“This is the first time that Fiji has participated at the CEN Biennial Conference which had participants from 39 Commonwealth member countries and being nominated as Pacific Rep to the Steering Committee is a great honor,” said Mr. Mohammed Saneem, Supervisor of Elections.
The 2016 CEN Biennial Conference served as a platform to discuss important issues such as strengthening women’s participation in elections, use ofnew technologies, social media, Commonwealth principles of good electoral practice, media guidelines, independence of EMBs and voter registration.
As one of the presenters at the Conference, Mr. Saneem spoke about the success of the Pacific Electoral Networks [PEN] Meeting held in Nadi, Fiji earlier this year which was hosted by the FEO in collaboration with the CEN and the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators Network [PIANZEA]. Mr. Saneem also presented a report on Gender Mainstreaming in Pacific Elections.
“It was also an opportunity for the FEO to extend its network and strengthen their institutional capacity through the exchange of knowledge and experiences,” Mr. Saneem said. “We will definitely continue to expand on this front and gain friends in the international electoral arena.”
The Conference took place from 22-24 June, 2016 and Samoa has also been nominated as a Rep for the Pacific Region.

Fijian Elections Office Extends 2016 Voter Registration Drive

The Fijian Elections Office [FEO] has extended the 2016 School Electronic Voter Registration [EVR] Drive to all major towns and centres around Fiji for the next 2 weeks.

“Since the beginning of the 2016 School Voter registration Drive, we have been receiving several requests from members of the public who either wanted to update their addresses with us or get a replacement Id card and that is why FEO has extended the registration drive to major town centres,” Supervisor of Elections Mr Mohammed Saneem said.

Eligible voters who wish to register need to bring their birth certificate and a valid form of ID to register.

For details on the locations and times, check daily newspapers or visit the FEO website.

Fiji’s Supervisor of Elections joins MSG Observer Mission to Vanuatu

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The Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Mohammed Saneem, will join the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Observer Mission to observe the Snap Election in Vanuatu scheduled for January 22, 2016.

The MSG Observer Mission is led by former parliamentarian and Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Sir Francis Billy Hilly and will also include observers from Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.

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Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Mohammed Saneem at the Bougainville Election 2015

Former President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will also take part in the MSGs Observer Mission from Fiji. The Observer Mission will be joined by observer teams from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth.

Mr. Saneem said he was honoured to observe Vanuatu’s Snap Election following Fiji’s participation in the Bougainville Election through the Pacific Islands Forum Observer Mission last year.

“As an Election Management Body (EMB), we are keen to observe elections throughout the Pacific to assist other EMBs and build trust and confidence in the democratic process through the conduct of transparent and accountable elections,” said Mr. Saneem.

The Snap Election will be contested by 183 candidates who will be vying for 52 seats, elected for a term of four years under 17 multi-member constituencies. The MSG Observer Mission will observe the conduct of these elections in line with international electoral practices.

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