Tongan Election Interim Statement



16 NOVEMBER 2017


Hon Margaret Wilson DNZM

Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group

Saturday 18 November 2017


“We congratulate the Kingdom of Tonga for participating peacefully and in numbers in their national election to decide their leaders in the next Parliament.”

The Commonwealth Observer Group was invited here by the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga. Since our arrival on 9 November, we have been warmly welcomed by everyone we have met. Before the election, we met with the Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet, the Speaker of Parliament, representatives of the Nobles of the Realm, the Electoral Commission, candidates, civil society groups, women and youth groups, Tonga Media Council, and members of the diplomatic corps.

Members of our Group were deployed to Vava’u, Ha’apai, and here in Tongatapu to observe the poll, count and declaration of results. We have collaborated and worked closely with the observers from the Pacific Islands Forum, who were present in Tongatapu and ‘Eua.

I was privileged to observe the process where the Nobles of the Realm elected their nine representatives to Parliament. This is a unique constitutional arrangement in the Kingdom and a process outlined in Tonga’s electoral laws.

This is the Group’s Interim Statement, providing an outline of our key observations and findings.

Key Interim Findings

General summary

The Commonwealth Charter “recognises the inalienable right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, in particular through free and fair elections in shaping the society in which they live.” We congratulate the Kingdom of Tonga for turning out in numbers to exercise their democratic right. The election was conducted in a peaceful environment and the voters demonstrated a good understanding and trust in the process. We found the election was conducted in accordance with Tonga’s national laws and the results reflected the wishes of the people.

The Group noted that this was the third election held under the amended Constitution 2010, as part of Tonga’s democratic reforms. We further noted that this election was conducted a year earlier than anticipated, following His Majesty, King Tupou VI’s decision to invoke Clause 38 of the Constitution to dissolve Parliament on 25 August 2017.

We encourage the incoming Government, the members of Parliament and all stakeholders to continue working together to strengthen the Kingdom’s democratic processes and engage in dialogue to clarify constitutional issues that would deepen the Kingdom’s democracy and promote the rule of law.

Preparations and election campaign

The Group acknowledged and commended the work of the Electoral Commission in preparing the country’s election with short notice following His Majesty’s decision.

The Group observed campaigning in Tongatapu ahead of the 16 November election. Many candidates chose to promote their campaigns through the use of posters and with campaign ‘floats’- large convoys of candidates’ supporters – which added a spirited and unique flair to the environment.

The Group commended the media for the positive role it played in creating awareness about election issues and the campaign. While some interlocutors raised access to the media as a potential issue, it appeared that campaigning was lively and competitive, and candidates were generally able to convey their campaign messages to the public.

We welcomed a large number of women candidates that contested the election. We convey our sincere congratulations to the two female candidates who won their seats in Tongatapu and Vava’u, marking the first time two women will be represented in the Legislative Assembly concurrently. We encourage the women in Tonga to continue to participate in elections and pursue greater representation in the National Parliament.


The Group was impressed with the high level of professionalism, integrity and efficiency displayed by polling officials, many of whom were women, during the election. These officials appeared well trained and ensured the polling process was well organised and that voters were able to cast their votes in an orderly manner.

Voters appeared to have a solid understanding of polling procedures and exercised their franchise in a calm and positive atmosphere. The Group was pleased to see a high turn-out of women voters at the election, as well as elderly and disabled voters who were assisted by the polling officials where necessary to ensure they were able to cast their votes.

We commended the support provided by the police, fire and correctional service personnel to the polling teams in all the constituencies we observed. Their presence contributed to the peaceful environment that enabled the people to exercise fully their democratic rights in the country’s political process. The Group also welcomed the role that Town Officers and other local community leaders played in supporting polling teams in their task.

The Group recognised that none of the candidates had agents or scrutineers during the poll and count. This is a testament to the trust and confidence the people of Tonga have in their electoral process.

Count and declaration of results

The Group found the count to be efficient and methodical. Consideration could be given to make the count more transparent by allowing the voters to observe the process.

The result in each polling station was made public immediately after the completion of the count. Ballot boxes were then returned to the district offices and a final result was announced later in the evening by the Electoral Commission.


We will finalise our report over the next two days and this will include the Group’s conclusion and set of recommendations for consideration to strengthen the country’s electoral process.

Our report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary- General who will, in turn, submit it to the Government of Tonga, the Electoral Commission, Speaker of Parliament and other key stakeholders in the country.

The Commonwealth’s long-standing commitment to Tonga’s democracy and development will continue. The Kingdom’s constitution has unique features which recognises its social, cultural and political structures. I encourage all citizens and the elected leaders from this election to continue working together in strengthening the Kingdom’s democracy.

We note the process of forming the Government will commence shortly following the full declaration of results. We congratulate the Kingdom of Tonga on a successful election and convey our sincerest appreciation and best wishes to His Majesty King Tupou VI, the Nobles of the Realm, the incoming Government and the people. It has been a privilege to lead this Group of Commonwealth observers to the Kingdom’s national parliamentary election.


18 November 2017

Tender for Election Material and Services

Statement by Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

Tender for Election Material and Services

03rd November, 2017

The Fijian Elections Office will be advertising second round of its election material and services procurement in tomorrow’s newspapers in line with its 2018 General Election preparation plans.

Tenders are invited for the following materials and services:

  1. Ballot Paper Printing
  2. Postal Voting Courier Services
  3. Supply of Polling Station Sheds

Expression of interest for supply of motor vehicles is also being advertised.

The FEO understands that some of these materials and services will require our suppliers to place their own material order overseas to be able to meet the quantity and specifications that we require.

Some of these materials may take significant time to arrive in Fiji. Some services may also need thorough planning with the FEO and thus the need to advertise and confirm the suppliers early.

The FEO also needs to ensure that it has confirmation from suppliers in terms of their ability to deliver at notice following the announcement of Election date. Advertising early will allow the FEO to verify the capacities of its suppliers to ensure that the election time plans are not affected.

I would like to touch on some specs for the tenders:

Ballot Paper Printing

The FEO will require the successful tenderer to demonstrate the ability to print, bind and supply ballot papers as per the plan. At the moment the FEO anticipates we may have approximately 630,000 voters.

Ballot papers for the next general election should have atleast 3 security features, bound in books of 50 ballots papers per book and each book is to be uniquely numbered to track the book.

Our Suppliers must have sufficient capacity to operate and deliver approximately 750,000 not exceeding 800,000 ballot papers with 12 days. Additional information is available on the FEO website.

Postal Voting Courier Services

For the 2018 General Election, the FEO has divided the globe into 4 regions in an attempt to streamline the distribution and return of Postal Ballots. It is noted that there may be companies that specialize in some of these regions while there are some that look at distribution worldwide.

The regions are as follows:

  • Local Fiji
  • Pacific Islands
  • Australia & New Zealand
  • Rest of the world

Supply of Polling Station Sheds

The FEO estimates it will require approximately 160 Polling Stations that will be in Sheds. These may be locations that do not have adequate facilities to be used as polling stations or where there are more voters than the available space at a venue.

This time we would like suppliers to provide a 7m x7m shed with side covers including 10 chairs and 3 tables. Also a Porta-loo as well as atleast 2 x 4ft Tube lights and 2 power outlets. We prefer that suppliers bid for all these items as a package.

Expression of Interest for Supply of Vehicles

Total 4×4

  • 115 for Election Day
  • 110 for Pre-poll
  • 45 for awareness

3 Tonne –

  • 100 for election day

5 Tonne –

  • 15

The FEO wishes to advise that in accordance with s13 of the Electoral Act, all suppliers and contractors of the FEO must remain apolitical and must not engage in any political or campaign activity whilst engaged by the FEO.

All tenders by the FEO will be scrutinized by a duly constituted Tender Committee who may require additional information or inspection of the capacities of the suppliers. Bidders are requested to ensure that the Committee has received necessary access to all required information.

Interested person must only contact the secretariat and we reserve the right to reject any tenders from bidders who may attempt to contact other FEO personnel.

The FEO duly considers value for money, quality and capacity and it is not necessary that we award the tender to the lowest bid.

Tenders close on 8 December 2017 at 4 pm.


Result Management Information System Software Development Agreement Signing

Statement by the Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

Result Management Information System Software Development Agreement Signing

28th September, 2017

11:00am – FEO HQ Conference Room

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen and a very good morning to you all.

Acknowledging our DATEC partner, Ateen, thank you so much for taking out your time and to your team who are here as well. It’s good that we know who you are so we know who is working on the project and as well as our technical advisor Mr Robin Boyd including our partners from Korea, AWEB.

Ladies and Gentlemen, today is a very important day in the calendar in the lead-up to the 2018 General Elections.

The Fijian Elections Office as you are already aware is now in elections mode and we are now in the final enhancement of the Result Management System for the next General Elections.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the FEO had procured the development of the Result Management Information System prior to the 2014 General Elections through DATEC. The Result Management system was actually something based on the 2006 Result Management System, although the result calculation tabulation material was different.

The core structure was based on the 2006 design of the Result Management System which I’m informed was done also through DATEC. So with its long standing history and experience in the design of this sensitive software, DATEC was our preferred supplier for the enhancements that we needed to do.

Notwithstanding the legal side of things where they were the ones who built it in the first place so they get the chance to edit it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in terms of improvement to the 2014 Result Management System, from the 2006 design, the key thing that we included was the double blind data entry. This is to ensure that data entry in terms of the results of the election is done accurately by our data entry personnel and that there is a systematic approach to identifying or removing errors.

This was visible in the 2014 final results when you take the protocol results from Polling venues and you compare that with the results that was published by the Result Management System in terms of the high accuracy.

The double blind data entry system also allowed us a high level of transparency where our supervisors were able to verify discrepancies at data entry level and then verify through the protocol of results and then make the results accurate.

The 2014 General Election results were also tabulated in a manual system in our cabinets as well as the Result Management System and the results are still available on the website.

We had conducted a review after the 2014 General Elections at the FEO general level in terms of the Result tabulation system and other components that were involved, our team highlighted that we needed to enhance the software.

Enhancements include the need for the software to automatically print out results that have been recorded in the software. This is very useful in terms of updates for the political parties and the members of the media.

You may remember the pink slips that were pasted in the Results Centre in 2014. We actually ran out of space to do that. We want the RMIS to print a reciprocal slip of the similar polling station results so that political parties, members of the media and other interested persons are able to verify this.

We also want the software to become more user interactive. I must admit that in 2014, the software was too technical and I couldn’t use it because I didn’t know how to type strings and threads and I think Ateen understands all these languages better.

But this time around, I would like to be able to press some buttons for records to be generated. That’s much easier in terms of data handling for verifications and QA as well.

The other thing that we have incorporated into the design is a flush mechanism. The flush mechanism has the ability to delete all data in terms of numbers from the RMIS before data entry begins.

So we have notified political parties that on the night of elections, at 6pm, we will be conducting a system flush where we will delete all data from the RMIS. We will print the list of candidates and polling stations with zeros on them so that you can see there is no data there and it’s all zero, zero, zero. Then the next process is we will type one, one, one for candidates, we will print that as a secondary record that one is equal to one at the print out stage. We will then again flush the system and bring it down to zero, zero, zero then we start with data entry.

So this is very important from those who may be skeptical about whether one is equal to one or one is equal to not one. So in this sense, the flush process will be live on air from the RMIS on the FEO channels and I am sure the members of the media will also be interested in covering that ceremony at 6pm at the Result Management Centre on Election Night for the flush to ensure that you are satisfied that the system starts from zero when the data entry begins.

Ladies and gentlemen, just to mention, that we will still maintain the provisional results data entry and then once provisional results conclude at 7am the next morning, we will start with the results data entry for the final results. We will be giving out more information about the RMIS and the result delivery in due course.

The FEO in all its software development projects ensure that there is utmost sensitivity around data and source codes and to that end, as is our standard practice, our supplier has agreed to provide the software source codes to the FEO following the conclusion of the development phase and the source code will be kept secured by the FEO IT team. Basically, we don’t allow our source codes to be kept by any third party vendor and that is the reason why the source codes will be returned to us by the supplier and thank you Ateen for graciously agreeing to that very stringent requirement.

Ladies and gentlemen, Datec Fiji Limited will also be very useful in their role and knowledge because in 2014, the development of the software was done in a month and it was deployed on a closed network and I am sure they have also done some assessments as to what can be done better with the software and we will be doing final testing in about three months’ time and we will be doing a lot of public awareness on how the RMIS works.

It is very important that the RMIS at the Result Management Centre will actually be on a closed network. At this time, we have given thought after planning that there will not be any Wi-Fi networks in that facility. It will be a closed network setup and this is to prevent the ability of any penetration or suspicious activities in terms of the housing of the place so because I am not an IT person, I believe it’s called switch on and switch off – so we will physically protect that area by removing any chances of infiltration. That is for security.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Datec Fiji Limited is a very reputable supplier of software applications and it has many international partners and the FEO is proud to be associated with them to develop the RMIS for the next General Election.

Before I conclude, I would like to mention that there is a publicity component of the results of the election which is not handled by the RMIS. The publicity component will be handled by the Communications team at the FEO. This will be done with a little bit of a twist. We will be announcing the results on an App which has been developed in-house for the general public.

And this App will be updating itself every 15 minutes and you will be able to get the results on your phone every 15 minutes. So you don’t have to continuously download updates, the App will update itself every 15 minutes and you should be able to get the results.

The second source of the results will be the FEO website and the website will be running live results as you would have seen with the United States of America, New Zealand, Australia and Korean Elections. Results will go live on the website and the members of the public who are proficient with the smartphone technology will be able to access those results from the website. Members of the media will also be able to access those results in various formats from the website and we will talking to the media organisations in Fiji on Election results coverage because we will not be announcing the results every 20 minutes as we did in 2014.

The results will become virtual and will be available to you in your palms or at your computer screens. We will release more information on this once we have solidified our plans with the members of the media.

The demo of the app will be made available at the end of January, 2018 for you to use. We may place the 2014 General Election results on the app so that you are able to familiarize yourselves on how to go about the app and see the results.

So that is the results that will be exported from the RMIS – it’s not the results that RMIS is going to put on the website because it’s on a closed network and it doesn’t have internet access.

That brings me to the end of my brief on the aspects of the RMIS of the 2018 General Election.

And before I conclude, I would like to mention that the RMIS development and enhancement is being handled by Sadie Tunaulu and her team and they will be looking after other software developments and I would like to thank her and her team for their long hours they have dedicated for the conclusion of some of our technological projects of the office we wish your team all the best in this project and all the other projects.


Update on the training of 2018 General Election – Elections Officials

Statement by the Stakeholder Awareness Coordinator

Mr Edwin Nand

Update on the training of 2018 General Election – Elections Officials

29th September, 2017

12:00noon – FEO Headquarters

The Fijian Elections Office will be rolling out the training of Election Officials on a much larger scale beginning next Tuesday 3rd October 2017.

Over the last three weeks, 2026 applicants have gone through the first phase of training.

The Fijian Elections Office has been able to vet an additional 4000 applications as persons who turned up for the Recruitment Drive have been gradually submitting their necessary documents.

The Fijian Elections Office would also like to thank our stakeholders who have been assisting us in processing data in order to finalise all applications.

As part of our Elections Preparation Plan, we will now be running three training sessions per day on Tuesdays and Thursdays at our venues in Suva and Nasinu. Additionally, two sessions will be held on Saturdays.

The training schedules area designed to accommodate the needs of Election Officials and so we have arranged for sessions in the morning, the afternoon and in the evening – whichever is most suitable to applicants.

Our team has already informed many of these applicants to inform them of the training from next week, and others will be contacted in due course.

We have 1050 participants targeted for next week and while we have called them personally to confirm training, a sms notification will also be sent out shortly.

The FEO has set up venues in Suva, Nasinu, Nausori, Lautoka and Labasa. Details for each venue will be published in the newspapers and through the FEO’s social media networks.

Our toll free number 1501 is still active and applicants can call in to enquire by quoting their app reference number given to them at the end of the Computer Based Test.

As we move closer to the 2018 General Election, the Fijian Elections Office is on track with its timelines and preparations – the training of Election Officials is part of that process as well.

For persons who have not heard from us as yet – if your application is successful, you will be contacted by our team in due course.

We look forward to working with you to deliver the 2018 General Election.


Fiji National Polling Venue Directory Launch

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

Mr Suresh Chandra

Fiji National Polling Venue Directory Launch


6th September, 2017


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

I would like to begin by taking this opportunity to thank all of you for taking out your valuable time and accepting our invitation.

I would also like to thank His Excellency, The President, for his acknowledgment of the work of the Electoral Commission and the Fijian Elections Office.

His Excellency’s kind words have motived my team and provided great encouragement to the Supervisor of Elections and the Fijian Elections Office.

Under section 75 of the Constitution, the Electoral Commission is responsible for conducting free and fair elections in accordance with the legal and electoral framework. The next General Election in Fiji is in 2018 – next year.

Since our appointment this year, my commission agreed to approach the 2018 General Election strategically. We understood that the Fijian Elections Office had already been working on several aspects of the Election.

We knew that the innovative and committed group of individuals at the FEO needed our support and guidance and as such, we chose the theme ‘Raising the Standards in the Delivery of Elections in Fiji’.

For the first time in Fiji’s history, the probable locations of Polling

Venues around the country have been identified and published as an annual publication.

Ladies and gentlemen, this means that electoral information will become increasingly available. At the moment we anticipate to have 2,149 Polling Stations throughout the country.

In March this year, the Director Operations explained how these venues were decided. Whilst these printed volumes are for school libraries, anyone can access the online version at the FEO website. I particularly like the feature online that can give you directions to your allocated Polling Venue.

I would like to commend the Fijian Elections Office for its vision to extend a copy of the Fiji National Polling Venues Directory to each Secondary School Library in Fiji during National Library Week.

Indeed, this will allow our young Fijians the opportunity and exposure to elections right from school. When we come for Voter Registration next time to schools, students will already have a resource to identify the 3 preferred Polling venues through this resource.

I would like to thank Ravneel Chand from the FEO who undertook this project. It was done well and looks very attractive. Keep up the good work.

Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu.

Electoral Commission’s Speech for Election Officials Training

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission
Mr Suresh Chandra
2018 General Election – Election Officials Training
29th August, 2017

Bula Vinaka ladies and gentlemen and thank you very much for attending this training.

I am extremely pleased to be present here this morning along with my fellow commissioners as we commence the Election Officials training for the 2018 General Election.

This is a milestone event in terms of the Electoral Calendar as we anticipate that the Election could be between April and November in 2018.

The Fijian Elections Office has completed recruitment in some parts of the country and is still continuing with the Recruitment Drive in other parts, but based on the plans that the Fijian Elections Office had, people who attend the Recruitment Drive on the first week have been processed and are now at the stage of training.

So all of you in front of me have been processed from the first week of recruitment and are now attending this first training session.

Ladies and gentlemen, as we commence the training of Election Officials, I wanted to sound a few reminders to all persons who may be interested to work in the 2018 General Elections:

To work in the 2018 General Election, we need people with the highest level of integrity, who can come and carry out the responsibilities of the Election Officials without fear or favour and in a very apolitical manner.

Election Officials must remain honest at all times and ensure that all the procedures prescribed the Fijian Elections Office and the Electoral Commission are followed to the letter.

The Election Officials determine the credibility of each election and it is very important that when you are handling the task of Election Officials, you must do so as per the procedures that have been prescribed for these positions.

Ladies and gentlemen, being an Election Official does not only mean that you are looking forward to the salary at the end of the day but this is a great service to the country and when one is called upon to serve their country, they must do so with utmost faith and honesty.

It is important that you ensure that you carry out your roles diligently and in a manner that is not only done – but is seen by the members of the public to have been done right.

Following the 2014 General Election, the Multi-National Observer Group gave high marks to the Election Officials. Ladies and gentlemen, we have to aim higher for the next election.

The Electoral Commission has chosen the theme ‘Raising the Standards in the Delivery of Elections in Fiji’ for the next General Election and it is our responsibility, both yours and mine, to ensure that the tenets of this theme are obtained.

Having said all of that ladies and gentlemen, I would like to congratulate you for  completing the recruitment process and now attending this training and I wish you all the very best for this workshop and I now declare the training for the 2018 General Election – Election Officials training program officially open.

Thank you, Vinaka vakalevu and Dhanyavad.

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at

Click here to download the pdf

2018 General Election – Election Officials Recruitment Drive Update

Statement by the Supervisor of Elections
Mr Mohammed Saneem
2018 General Election – Election Officials Recruitment Drive Update
25th August, 2017
11:00am – FEO HQ – EC Conference Room

Bula Vinaka ladies and gentlemen and a very good morning to you all.

I thank you for all for coming to this press conference where we will give you an update on our Recruitment Drive and what will happen after it.

The 2018 General Election – Election Officials Recruitment Drive is scheduled to finish on the 27th of August, 2017 at major town centres around the country.

The Recruitment Drive commenced on the 28th of July, 2017 and was run periodically around the
various town centres around the country.

The Fijian Elections Office would like to begin by offering its greatest appreciation to all the site owners that gave us their buildings as well as school administrators for allowing us time to use the classrooms during this holidays to conduct the Recruitment Drive. Thank you very much.

Coming to the numbers in terms of recruitment, as we had earlier advertised, the Fijian Elections Office was looking for applications of up to 17,000 Fijians.

17,000 applications would allow us sufficient opportunity to conduct a very rigorous, merit based selection process to identify the best candidates to work at the polling stations around the country.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have worked out based on the current number of polling stations, which is 2149, that the FEO will actually need around 10,102 Election Officials and 12,522 is what we are looking for.

In actual fact ladies and gentlemen, we can do with the 10,102 applications. Our requirements for each divisions are as follows:

In terms of Divisions, we need 4660 staff in the Central Division. We need 3673 staff in the Western Division and 1600 in the Northern division and around 169 staff in the eastern division.
Our statistics as at yesterday’s recruitment are as follows:

In the Central Division, we have received 5074 applications. In the Western Division, we have received 2885 applications and in the Northern Division we have received 1355 applications. We have not yet started the Recruitment Drive in the Eastern Division which will take place in Tavuki, Kadavu and in Levuka in September.

Therefore ladies and gentlemen, we have now received a total of 9314 applications as at last night. This has given us sufficient number of individuals for us to start training.

Before I go any further, I would just like to mention that we still have positions available for around 1000 people in the Western Division and around 400 people in the Northern Division which we hope will be filled tomorrow and Sunday during the opening hours of the Recruitment

Coming back to the training ladies and gentlemen, training for Election Officials who have sat the test will commence next week. We understand that there is a lot of eagerness amongst applicants to find out when they will be invited for training.

As we have stated before, you will be notified through a text message as to when they can come and attend training. We will also try and publish the training locations and the reference numbers allocated to those training on the FEO website.

Any confusions arising out of this can be clarified by calling the number 1501.

The training will be conducted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from the coming week. Trainings will be conducted during the morning sessions, afternoon sessions or evening sessions on these days. And priorities and allocations of persons will be made based on the person’s selected choice at the time of making the application.

If you are unable to attend at the time of the training allocated to you, please contact the Recruitment Assistants to change your allocated time.

The training venues for the next week’s training will be as follows:

Patel Samaj Hall, Suva; Nasinu Town Council Hall; Catholic Parish Hall, Nausori; Red Cross Hall, Lautoka and the Friendly North Inn Conference Hall, Labasa.

I just wanted to also mention that not everybody has to be trained in the first week. Do not rush. The trainings will continue until every person who has applied has attended the training.

Also, it is important that when you come for training, if you have not brought any of the required documents till now, you must bring it at training.

In the event you do not bring all the required documents like the bank statement at the training, we will not be able to process your pay and therefore it is important you ensure all your documents are up to date with us.

Attending of the training comes with an allowance $45 inclusive of your FNPF and other taxes and this will be deducted before you are paid.

So ladies and gentlemen, the Recruitment Drive is now in its last few days and we invite any Fijian, who has not yet found the time or the opportunity, to now take advantage of these last few days so that you can be included in the first round of the Election Officials Recruitment Drive for the next General Election.

Thank you very much for your time ladies and gentlemen.

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at

Click here to download the pdf

FEO Begins Recruitment of 17,000 Election Officials for the 2018 General Election

Recruitment Drive Begins Statement by Stakeholder Awareness Coordinator Mr Edwin Nand

Monday 31 July 2017

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Fijian Elections Office has begun the recruitment of 17,000 Election Officials to help deliver the 2018 General Election. On Friday morning we opened our first recruitment centre at Kshatriya Hall in Suva and saw a steady stream of applicants from as early as 7 am.

It was a good day with encouraging turnouts and applicants sat their test in calm and confident manner.

This is the first time in Fiji when a large scale recruitment is being conducted directly on Computers.

The Fijian Elections Office has now rolled out the recruitment drive across the country, with a total of 18 venues in all four Divisions.

With the commencement of the recruitment drive, our helpline is also now active. The 1501 platform will be operational between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm every week day to answer any queries that applicants may have.

This is the only helpline for queries and may I remind all applicants that they have to use the reference number issued to them at the end of the application process when making calls to this number.

The FEO will continue to create awareness around the Recruitment Drive, the venues, and the requirements over the coming weeks to ensure that applicants don’t face any issues when they turn up at the recruitment centre.

The recruitment drive has been planned for various durations depending on the number of staff we need in those areas. Interested persons should check the schedules and make their arrangements to come to these venues.

Starting tomorrow, we will have recruitment centres open in all 4 Divisions. Some will be open until 9 pm in order to cater for people who may not be able to attend during the day due to various commitments.

All relevant information is available on our website



Please find a video link for the statement:

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at

Click here to download the pdf


Media Statement by the Supervisor of Elections – 2018 Voter Registration Statistics

Media Statement by the Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

FEO Conference Room

26 July, 2017



Bula Vinaka and a very good afternoon to you all.

The Fijian Elections Office (FEO), has concluded the 2017 Nationwide Voter Registration Drive. The Drive which we had started on 22 May for 6 weeks was further extended by 1 week to cater for the high interest towards the end of the program.


The Nationwide drive included the following key electoral events:

  • Secondary School Voter registration and awareness
  • National Register of Voters print out verification and display
  • Verification of deceased voters
  • 2017 Polling Venue Assessment
  • General Voter services

The Fijian Elections Office placed teams around the country including the islands to ensure that the above electoral programs were adequately carried out.

As Supervisor of Elections, I would like to thank all our media partners who helped push out the message. A special thanks to all the business houses and schools that accommodated our teams.

I would like to take this special opportunity to thank all Fijians who took the opportunity to come in and access the voter services that we were offering. This is very very important considering the election is to be held in 2018.

The Voter Registration, ladies, and gentlemen is an apolitical exercise. Voter registration services were provided by the FEO upon request and this will be done as we have been doing since 2012.

We expanded our services during the Nationwide drive to persons who needed special assistance for registration. We organized our teams in all the divisions to visit those persons who made requests for our services.

At the end of the Nationwide drive, the Fijian Elections Office had recorded over 240,000 engagements with voters. We decided to suspend voter services for 2 weeks so that we could properly integrate the data that we had collected in the field into our central databases. We also had to take this time to update all our registration kits with the updated approved data. This process is now complete.

The following are the new statistics after the data verification exercise:

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

The total number of new registration was: 12, 436.

So far this year the FEO has confirmed and removed 9,156 persons from the Register as deceased.

By Division, the Central Division has the highest number of voters at 258, 849. The Western Division comes second with 230, 058, the Northern Division has 94, 577 and the Eastern Division has 26, 836.

And we also conducted 32 home visits in the Central Division, 20 in the Western and 12 in the Northern Division.

As you are all aware the FEO also conducts registration of voters overseas. We would like to acknowledge our High Commissions and Embassies who have facilitated this processes for us and I would like to reiterate that the major registration drive for overseas voters is going to take place during the Fiji Day celebrations this year.

We have already concluded the registration drive in the Pacific Island countries with the exception of Nauru, the Marshall Islands, and Hawaii.

The total number of registered voters in the overseas category is 6270, hence the total of 616, 590.

Ladies and gentlemen, the information we have provided you will be relied upon in making preparations for the next general election. This information is publicly available from our website and in the interests of transparency the statistics will be published in the newspapers tomorrow.

Before I conclude, I would like to raise another very pertinent matter. The FEO always endeavors to publish accurate electoral information that has always been thoroughly verified. We would like to encourage all political parties, stakeholders and voters to ensure that information that they publish or rely on has been correctly stated and obtained from authenticated sources.

Our attention has been brought to a social media issue where a person who claims to be ‘chief volunteer in a Political Party’ has compiled and published a concocted table of registered voters in Fiji. Our Communications Team reports that this misinformation has been widely circulated on social media casting aspersions on the registration process.

Whilst we will deal with this mischief and its maker through appropriate processes, our message to all voters is to verify electoral information especially the source.

Such information which is not from an authentic source and not from the FEO must be disregarded as these are always bound to have errors. I would like to remind the particular person that it is very very discouraging that he has taken such an initiative to create uncertainty and confusion.

Moving towards the 2018 General Election, it is the responsibility of every political party as well as every voter to ensure that election information is always provided and supplied with utmost integrity and correctness.

It is very very important that one must not mislead a voter. Where possible, try and get the correct information and details such as your information about the National Register of Voters which must always be referred to from the FEO as we maintain the register.

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all my staff, both long term and short term, who participated in this exercise and worked with a high level of commitment and integrity to ensure that these services were provided to all Fijians.


Please find a video link for the statement:

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at

Click here to download the pdf


Opening Address By Director Corporate at the Recruitment Assistant Training

Opening address by Director Corporate
Mr Sanjeshwar Ram

Recruitment Assistant Training
Tanoa Plaza
17-19 July, 2017

A very good morning to all participants and course coordinators.

On behalf of the Supervisor of Elections I warmly welcome you all to this recruitment assistant training. The Supervisor of Elections is currently engaged in another workshop and has sent his apologies.

The Fijian Elections Office will be commencing the recruitment drive for up to 17,000 election officials for the 2018 General Election from the 28th of July this year. This morning I am addressing the team that will carry out this massive task.

Over the course of your duties, you will come across thousands of Fijians who will by vying for the election Officials position. Applicants will come from diverse backgrounds and circumstances. Many will be new to open merits recruitment system, many will be new to computer based testing, many will be new to ‘having to apply without a CV and the list goes on.

The task you will be handling will be strenuous and will test your physical as well as your physiological limits. Always maintain your cool. You must always remember that the people you are dealing with will be the people who will deliver the 2018 General Election.

People generally can imagine the organization they are about to join by interacting with the recruitment teams. Thus it is important that you display the highest standards of customer service, honesty and integrity. The best way to achieve this is by following the recruitment processes that we have designed for this project. Customer service is assessed firstly based on consistency and that is what we would like to uphold during this recruitment drive.

Every staff we employ must be approachable. FEO staff should be the first to greet the other person and this shows your humility. Don’t forget to smile. You will be setting an example to the people we will hire for next year.

It is imperative that you understand the roles and responsibilities which you need to carry out during the drive. This training will take you through the core aspects of the responsibilities. It will take you through technical concepts that you will have to master.

During the training, you will observe the different phases in which recruitment assistants will be required to work starting from the recruitment drive commencing this month to election announcement day in 2018.

The 3 days training is expected to be comprehensive, rigorous and demanding. The FEO expects that you fully interact in this training. Ask questions. Clarify any issues you may have. All these must be done within the 3 days.

Please do note that there is a test on the final day. Just attending the training for the 3 days does not automatically grant you a job as a recruitment assistant.

You must also prove through the final day test that you have fully understood the roles and responsibilities of a recruitment assistant and are ready to take up the challenge.

The Supervisor of Elections has given the responsibility for the recruitment of election officials to me. I would like to demonstrate that my team is capable and has the ability to handle this huge responsibility. We must work together.

In the event you are unable to handle a particular situation with a client then you must always refer it to your supervisor. We must demonstrate good customer service to external clients as well as within the FEO. If there are grievances, these must be properly raised through your supervisors.

Ladies and gentlemen the FEO expects that its recruitment assistants will be fully trained and qualified to assist in the recruitment of elections official for the 2018 General Elections. The FEO demands that you perform your role with commitment, dedication and with diligence.
With these words, I wish you all the best for the next 3 days in training and I hope you will find this training very productive, rewarding and useful in your work.

Thank you!

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