FEO Launches 2018 General Election, Election Officials National Recruitment Drive

Statement by the Supervisor of Elections
Mr Mohammed Saneem

Wednesday 05 July 2017
5.30pm

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for joining us.

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 is a major component of election preparation and it is necessary that we start early. Election officials will staff the 2000+ polling stations in Fiji on Election Day.

Historically, Fiji has had 10 General Elections since independence and until 2014, all officials were primarily civil servants.

However, the trend internationally moved towards elections being conducted by ordinary citizens. This trend favours the principle of creating ownership in the election process as well as in the democracy.

In 2014, the Electoral Act allowed the FEO to independently recruit election officials throughout the nation under a national recruitment drive. We received 15,609 applications from Fijians to work in the elections, out of which we recruited approximately 11,000.

These officials were trained by our trainers and they delivered the 2014 General Election and set a standard for elections in future. The officials carried out their roles diligently. Observers and voters commended their performance. We always endeavor to provide excellent customer service as we have done so in the past.

I’d like to quote some of the findings of the observers in the Multi-Observers Group report, and I quote:

(Observers commented very positively on the performance of polling day officials, who in general were very competent and committed to performing their duties. Most polling staff had no experience of the previous election and were implementing a new electoral procedure. The training of polling staff was generally well organized. Materials for staff – particularly the Presiding Officers’ Operations and Training Manual – were extremely detailed, describing every step at length.

Observers also commended polling staff on their professionalism and flexibility in problem-solving.

Observer teams witnessed a number of voters requiring assistance, including disabled, elderly, and visually impaired persons. On occasion, polling day workers were also called on to provide assistance. Polling staff and communities should be commended for their efforts to ensure all Fijians had the opportunity to vote.

Many instances were also observed of extraordinary efforts by polling staff to ensure the disabled could cast their ballots, including carrying the people and bringing ballots and boxes to the voter.

Ladies and gentlemen with all of that as experience in mind, let us now focus on the next GENERAL ELECTION.

Based on our registration figures as at 20th April 2017, we have registered just over 603,557 voters. We will be getting more numbers as the Nationwide Voter Registration Drive concludes this weekend. The Electoral Commission has approved that the maximum number of voters that can be assigned to a polling station is 500.

According to the provisional list of polling venues published on 15th March 2017, there are 409 Polling venues in the Central division, 464 in the western division, 337 in the Northern division and 206 in the Eastern Division. Therefore, based on these figures, the FEO anticipates that we will have approximately 2019 polling stations for the next General Election. Actual figures may vary and will be released much closer to the election date.

The Election Officials Recruitment Drive that will begin on 28 July this year is open to ALL registered voters regardless of whether they are currently employed or not. Everyone who is interested – has to apply. If you worked for us in 2014, you will still have to apply. If you are already in employment, your employer may have to give you prior consent to work during the General Election – that will be between the applicant and the employer.

For the 2018 General Election, the recruitment of staff will be done on our newly developed Computer Based Testing system which is part of our Election Management System. We will be testing you on your numeracy and literacy skills.

Let me explain how the process will work;

All interested persons must show up at the Recruitment Centre with their required documents. Since only registered voters will be allowed to work, you must take advantage of the current Nationwide Voter Registration Drive and update your details.

We would like you to work in a polling venue nearest to your residence to minimize inconvenience to you and therefore you will have to update your details. The software assigns you to a polling venue nearest you. There will not be any Voter Registration booths at these recruitment centres.

At the recruitment center, applicants will be required to collect a username and password from the Recruitment Assistant in order to access the system. Applicants will then be directed to a laptop, which they will use to fill out the Application form. This should not take more than 15minutes.

Every applicant will be required to undertake the Literacy and Numeracy Test containing 20 questions and you will have 30 minutes to attempt these tests.

At the end of the test, the system will print out your Application Form and other necessary documents, which must be handed to the Recruitment Assistant. All employees of the Fijian Elections Office must sign a Declaration of political neutrality.

Applicants will be then given an Acknowledgement letter with your unique reference number that will be used for all future correspondence. One of the key mechanisms for correspondence with applicants is through SMS or text messaging and therefore it is essential that at the time of completing the application, personal mobile numbers are correctly entered. Please try and avoid crowding the FEO Offices around the country to enquire about your recruitment details as this will be available on the website and other platforms such as social media platforms.

Mostly, please wait for the SMS notification for the next step in the process.

This time, each applicant will do their own data entry and care must be taken to enter details correctly. We had noted from 2014 recruitment process that some people tried to sit the test more than once. This time, the software will not accept repeat attempts. You can only apply once.

We are not going to test you based on your knowledge of elections nor the number of years of experience you may have had in elections. We do not want you to bring a CV to the recruitment centre, we only need you to bring your VoterCard, and copies of your FNPF card, TIN letter, or Joint card and details of your current bank account.

The Fijian Elections Office is an open merit based, equal opportunity employer and all appointments will be made based on your performance in the test as well as the training that follows.

We believe that every Fijian has a role to play not only as a voter but in other aspects of elections. Elections need to become a part of life as we mature into electoral democracy that we have. Elections as a concept for choosing the government must become part and parcel of ordinary daily life. Working in elections is one way to promote this participatory approach.

Ladies and gentlemen, I will now briefly outline the logistics plan for the recruitment drive. Recruitment will start on 28 July at the Kshatriya Hall in Suva from 9 am to 5 pm only.

Thereafter for all the 4 divisions, recruitment centres will open from the 01 August 2017. We will advertise details of these venues in the daily newspapers as well as on our FEO channels.

Let me point out that we will not be conducting recruitment in which have been assigned for pre-poll. The FEO has planned to recruit and deploy pre-poll teams from the urban areas to ensure that the logistical exercise is easier to deal with.

To ensure that we get election officials with the highest levels of commitment, energy, honesty and integrity, the FEO has worked out an attractive salary package. This includes payment for attending the training sessions as well as work you do on Election Day.

The following positions are available:

Presiding Officers
Paid $410.00 as a package for the work they will do.
Key duties: Briefing and managing staff and resources. Setting up Polling Station in accordance with the FEO manuals. Updating, signing for, and securing storage of all election records/sensitive voting materials. Managing the polling station during polling as well as assisting voters that need assistance. Manage the count of ballot papers. Transmitting results to the Count and results Centre. Close of Polling Station to return all materials to Fijian Elections Office.

Assistant Presiding Officer
Paid a package of $320.00.
Duties of Assistant Presiding Officer include: To support the Presiding Officer when the Presiding Officer is assisting a voter. If required, to deputize the Presiding Officer in his absence. Manage the flow of voters. Respond to queries, assist in the setting up and the closure of the polling station.

Polling Day Workers for the next election will be paid a Package Rate of $180.00

Key Duties of Polling Day Workers: These workers on a rotational basis, may handle any or all of the following: Inspect voters fingers for ink; find voters name on the voter Roll – have it signed and marked off;; issue Ballot Paper; give voter the appropriate instructions; Ink the finger of the voter; Act as ballot box guard or assist the PO and APO during counting and packing of materials or closing of polling station.

There are some larger venues in Fiji which have to 2500 to 3000 voters. Many of these venues will need someone to assist and guide them to their respective polling stations, there the FEO will recruit VQCs:

Venue Queue Controller
Paid a package of $166.00 for work they will do. This will include the overall logistics management for the polling venue. Provide all assistance necessary to Presiding Officers on queries, complaints, voter flow and provision of materials. Manage voter flow. Provide voting assistance include assisting persons with disabilities. Maintain contact with Area and Divisional Offices with updates on progress and any other particular issues.

There are other positions available, such as pre-poll staffing, counting staff as well as civic educators which will be advertised in the daily newspapers, as well as on our website and Facebook pages.

We are committed to ensuring that polling is convenient for voters – walk into a polling venue, wait for your turn to cast your vote and once this is done, leave satisfied that the entire process was handled efficiently and did not leave you frustrated.

Election Officials who want to join us will have to demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism, patience, courtesy and then after training, sound knowledge of the electoral processes that they have to implement.

Please bring excellent customer services as a trade when you come to apply.

This Recruitment Drive ladies and gentlemen will be led by the Fijian Elections Office’s Director Corporate Services Mr. Sanjeshwar Ram and his team. Mr. Ram and his team will look after the recruitment, training, contracting as well as the logistical operations around the recruitment of polling day workers.

Now to interactions on our social media platforms, we have noted that there is a high level of interest in joining the 2018 Election team. This is very encouraging and today we have released to all interested parties how to apply, when to apply and where to apply. It is now on individuals to ensure that they follow the procedures, get their details updated on the voter cards as well as get the necessary documents so when they come to the Recruitment Centre they are able to complete the assessments correctly and successfully.

The details of the National Recruitment will be published in the newspapers and will be posted to the FEO website www.fijielects2018.org.fj/eofficials and on the Fijian Elections Office Facebook pages.

We have also set up a dedicated helpline 1501 for any queries that potential recruits may have. This helpline will be activated from 28 July 2017 and will be operational from 8 am to 5 pm only.

With these words ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to thank you for joining us this evening. Before I conclude, I’d like to say that the FEO’s firm belief is that the Elections belong to the people of Fiji and they should be allowed to take ownership of the process by participating and getting involved.

I’d like to thank anybody who has an interest in joining the team for the 2018 General Election and I wish you all the best.

Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu.

-Ends-

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

Click here to download the pdf

FEO Teams Deployed To Lau

Statement by the Director Operations Ms Anaseini Senimoli

FEO Teams Deployed to Lau

Tuesday 6 June 2017

9.30am

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen.

Thank you for your attendance this morning.

As part of the current Nationwide Voter Registration Drive, we will be deploying 45 staff to the Lau Group for the next 20 days.

The team will be travelling on-board MV Iloilovatu that departs Narain Jetty on 7 June, 2017. The FEO wishes to extend its sincere appreciation to Government Shipping Services for their continued cooperation in all our projects.

As part of this exercise our teams will visit the following islands in this order:

  1. Moala
  2. Totoya
  3. Matuku
  4. Ono-i-Lau
  5. Vatoa
  6. Fulaga
  7. Ogea
  8. Kabara
  9. Namuka-i-Lau
  10. Komo
  11. Moce
  12. Oneata
  13. Lakeba
  14. Vanuavatu
  15. Cicia
  16. Tuvuca
  17. Nayau
  18. Vanuabalavu
  19. Avea
  20. Cikobia
  21. Namalata
  22. Mago
  23. Naitauba
  24. Yacata

The FEO has identified 72 polling venues in the Lau Group for the next General Election, all of which will be Pre-Poll venues. Our teams will also re-inspect all the polling locations as well as conduct voter awareness, informing voters that they will be doing Pre-Poll voting in 2018.

As at 20 April 2017, there are 6,641 Voters in the areas we will be covering. All eligible Fijians in the Lau group will have the opportunity to conveniently access the following services when our teams visit each community:

  • Electronic Voter Registration Upgrade to VoterCards 2.0Corrections and Change of Voter Details
  • Visit to 5 secondary schools in the Lau Group
  • Check personal details on the National Register of Voters
  • Reassessment of Polling Venues
  • Verification of deceased Voters

The FEO is deploying 15 teams to 24 Islands, including schools. We also have a mobile team which will visit individuals in their homes, should they have difficulties coming to the venues. This is designed to assist the elderly and those living with disabilities.

All Fijians must bring their birth certificate and a valid photo ID in order to register. In the event that anyone should not have a valid photo ID, the Election Officials will require that the voter’s identity be verified by a parent or the Turaga ni Koro, who must be a registered voter.

The 2017 Nationwide Voter Registration Drive ends on I July, 2017.

We request for the assistance of the media in getting this information out to the people in the Lau Group, so that they may take full advantage of the opportunity to access voter services.

Vinaka Vakalevu.

Trainer Positions for 2018 General Elections Advertised

Statement by the Supervisor of Elections
Mr Mohammed Saneem
Trainer positions for 2018 General Election Advertised Thursday 1 June, 2017
10.00am

Bula Vinaka.
This morning I would like to announce the commencement of the recruitment process for Trainers for the 2018 General Elections.
We will advertise these positions in the newspapers tomorrow and on the FEO website by this afternoon. The FEO will shortlist 100 suitably qualified and skilled persons to train Election Officials for the 2018 General Election. They will undergo a special Electoral Training of Trainers Program before the final 80 Trainers are appointed.

Just like in 2014, the FEO will directly train the entire 17,000 Election Officials around the country in approximately 900 plus training sessions. However, this time the FEO plans to conduct an initial training directly after recruitment followed by a refresher training closer to the Election once we know the date for Election.

The 80 casual, short-term positions will be spread out around the country, and interested applicants are required to state their preferred location in their applications. In total there are18 locations in total for which we will need trainers.

The locations are:

  • Suva
  • Navua
  • Sigatoka
  •  Nadi
  •  Lautoka
  •  Ba
  •  Tavua
  •  Rakiraki
  •  Nabouwalu
  •  Saqani
  •  Korovou
  •  Nausori
  •  Labasa
  • Savusavu
  • Seaqaqa
  • Taveuni
  • Levuka
  • Rotuma

The advertisements will state the requirements in these locations.

For the 2018 General Election recruitment for trainers program, many of the training days will be on weekends, so those in weekday employment are still encouraged to apply without hassle to their daily routine. These position will be advantageous for persons who may have Training of Trainers, Teacher Training Certificate, Workplace Trainer or equivalent skills and qualifications.

In terms of pay, shortlisted candidates who attend the 1-week Training of Trainers Program followed by the assessment within this period, they will be paid at the rate of $25,000 per annum for this period.

The successful candidates who thereafter conduct Trainings will be paid for the training sessions that they conduct on a package basis. The package details are as follows:

• 4 hr Round one Training – $150/per person/ per session (inclusive of FNPF & Tax)
• Full day (8hr) Sessions – $300/per person/ per session (inclusive of FNPF & Tax)

These have been packed at a higher rate so as to attract the best people to train the Election Officials for the 2018 General Election.

Trainers form the backbone of the FEO as they will directly train those official who will be working on the ground during the elections. There’ll be about 12,000 Election Officials who will be out and about during the 2018 General Election.

Of course, we have been working on tweaking the training content since the review of the 2014 General Election as we hope to enhance consistency in polling operations. We hope to improve on the operation aspects of the conduct of election and reduce complaints received in the 2014 General Election.

The FEO operates in a politically sensitive environment. As such, any person who is, or is seen to be, active in political affairs, and intends to carry on this activity, may compromise the strict political neutrality of the FEO and cannot therefore be considered for employment. All applicants for employment must declare any current political activity, and must sign and return the declaration provided in the Applicant Information Package as part of their application for employment that they do not intend to carry on this political activity whilst employed by the FEO.

Interested applicants can retrieve more intricate details of the position on the vacancies section of the FEO website or in advertisements in the local daily newspapers.

Applications for Trainer positions close on 16 June 2017 at 4pm.

Vinaka Vakalevu.

Click here to find information on Trainer Positions 

Vote of thanks by the Supervisor of Elections during the launch of the VoterCard 2.0, the Fiji National Polling Venue Directories and the new Fijian Elections Office Website

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Vote of thanks by the Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

THE LAUNCH OF VOTERCARD 2.0 AND THE FIJI NATIONAL POLLING VENUE DIRECTORIES

RAISING THE STANDARDS IN THE DELIVERY OF ELECTIONS IN FIJI

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

Members of the Electoral Commission

Members of the Diplomatic Community

Invited guests, ladies and gentlemen

It is my humble task this morning to deliver the vote of thanks.

I would like to first start with thanking the Almighty for showering his blessings on us, for all of us who are present here today.

I would like to thank all our esteemed guests for taking out their time to come to this event – thank you very much for your partnership.

In 2014, ladies and gentlemen, we were joined by an inspiring and very charming person.

She joined us in the busiest period of the process when our Human Resources team was actually in the process of recruiting about 10,000 PDWs [polling day workers]. Her name was Elenoa Lavetiviti. Elenoa quickly grew above everybody in the office. She was an active member of the FEO team coming up with some very bright ideas. I remember the day she told me, “You know I have to catch the cab to work every day because there is no access in
the bus.”

We tried our best to make arrangements for her to be transported to work.

Although she suffered from physical disability, having been confined to a wheelchair, Elenoa was one of the most energetic person in the office. She never lets her disability stand in the way of her work. Her commitment and dedication deserves a medal.

Sadly, Elenoa left us before the 2014 General Election but her spirit lived on in our office. In
the process of developing our newsletter to enhance information access regarding elections, we hunted for a name for a long time. In fact, if you look at our strategic plan, our newsletter was supposed to have been out this time last year.

We could not find a name – there were things like BALLOT, and VALID. There were things like RESULTS, then there were things like TO PARLIAMENT. None of them settled until one day the word LAVETIVITI came to mind. This was Elenoa’s last name. But it means LIFTING FIJI. We felt that this was the best and the most appropriate name to be dedicated to the newsletter. The late Elenoa, in her very powerful and inspiring way, still kept on inspiring and empowering us as we continue with our journey towards the next election.

I would like to acknowledge the presence of Elenoa’s parents here today and I thank them for joining us. I know this is a vote of thanks but there is a small event part of the vote of thanks that deserves to be here. May I please invite the late Elenoa’s parents to the forefront.

I invite the Chairman of the Electoral Commission to please step forward as the FEO would like to give a memorabilia to sir and madam to commemorate the late Elenoa Lavetiviti.

[Presentation of the memorabilia and token of appreciation to the late Elenoa’s parents].

Ladies and gentlemen, you have in your hands the first edition of the newsletter called LAVETIVITI. We would like to commemorate the memories and the inspiration that we had from the late Elenoa.

Thank you very much.

I would like to move to my task at hand.

Today’s programme marks the conclusion of various projects initiated by the FEO through its 2015 – 2019 Strategic Plan.

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all our partners, suppliers, donors as well as experts that helped our team lead and complete all these projects.

I would like to welcome our new director communications, Patricia Mallam – we welcome you to the hotline of elections Ms Mallam. It gets hotter as we go.

I would like to thank our ongoing directors, Ms Anaseini Senimoli and Mr Sanjeshwar Ram – thank you very much for leading the teams to successfully completing these major projects.

As the Chairman has said, Fijians deserve the best elections that we can deliver. You have all toiled very hard and long to all my colleagues at the back of the room. Your rewards will be when Fijians hold the voter card in their hands and say “WOW”. That is your reward. Do not expect someone to come and say ‘Thank you’. But your reward will be when you see all Fijians use that voter card to get their next bank accounts opened or actually we should say,
when they come to vote.

Ladies and gentlemen, these projects are a completion of projects that were planned from 2015 when we developed our first Strategic Plan. I would like to say that the FEO Strategic Plan delivery is well on time.

The website has been vastly improved to allow members of the public, political parties, the interested regional and international organisations and many of FEO’s partners to learn about our updates. Features that have also been included is that you can subscribe to our website and if we update anything on our website, the website is going to send you an email.

This will be especially important for political parties considering the decisions of the Electoral Commission will now be uploaded directly to the website as a means of publication.

The Electoral Commission itself now has a website on its own. This website should prove useful to people who wish to learn about the Electoral Commission events as well as to deal with complaints about the process and is they wish to contact the Electoral Commission.

I would like to acknowledge several staff who were with us when this project was ongoing but have now left us. One of them is Sheikh Qasim. He is here with us today. Thank you very much for your energy and for your very enthusiastic handling of the project for the completion of the website. I can say no further for he might form a company and start opening website development services and then I might have to be the referee. But he has
done a very good job with our website and I hope that the team that are continuing will make good use of the platform.

Ladies and gentlemen, I just wanted to say that there is another Facebook page that the FEO has also opened, which is ‘Fiji Elects 2018’. It would be slightly informal in nature and try to convey the message to young voters in Fiji.

Lastly, before I finish, I would like to thank each and every one of you for taking time out and
attending this event.

A special thanks to the Chairman and the Commission for hosting this event for us. And thank you very much to the people that put this together, the Events Management company, the Communications team, the graphics and the Corporate team and especially to the MC for today, our Director Corporate.

Having said that, thank you, vinaka vakalevu, dhanyewaad and shukria.

-ENDS-

RESPONSE STATEMENT

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SIGNING OF THE TERMS OF REFERENCE BETWEEN THE FIJIAN ELECTIONS OFFICE [FEO] AND THE ASSOCIATION OF WORLD ELECTION BODIES [A-WEB]

PROJECT TO SUPPORT BUILDING ELECTORAL TRANSPARENCY THROUGH AUTOMATION OF VOTING AND COUNTING SYSTEM IN THE REPUBLIC OF FIJI

SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS

MR MOHAMMED SANEEM

His Excellency, the Secretary General of the Association of World Election Bodies;

The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mr Suresh Chandra;

His Excellency, a friend of the FEO, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea;

Representative of KOICA in Fiji, also a friend of FEO;

The Electoral Commissioners;

Esteemed guests; and

Members of the media.

First of all, I would like to once again thank the Chairman for his words of inspiration to the FEO, as well as to our partner, the A-WEB. I would like to share the sentiments expressed by the Secretary General of A-WEB when he explained the project that the FEO is undertaking with the A-WEB.

Ladies and gentlemen, Excellencies, let me just issue a few more information on the exercise that we are about to undertake. Under the project, the FEO and A-WEB will be investing in fifty [50] units of touch screen voting machines that will be used for Trade Union elections only. These voting machines are the first step for the FEO to investigate ICT in elections specifically in relation to voting. They will not be used for the 2018 General Election.

The second aspect of this project, ladies and gentlemen, is to build redundant networks for an already existing data centre in the FEO. The experts from A-WEB conducted an exercise in Fiji where they inspected our network systems and security systems. The project is going to enhance the security and the network of the FEO especially since we will now be entering into a larger system such as the election management system for the next election.

We will be working on improving the security of the data we maintain. The FEO maintains data of records of up to 620,000 Fijians and in that regard, every Fijian expects the FEO to maintain this data in the highest level of confidentiality.

The third aspect of the programme is for the A-WEB engineers to train FEO officials to use the touch screen machines as well as to operate the redundancy and security systems for the data centre. This is only going to enhance capacity of the FEO as we wish to maintain the equipment we receive for long term uses.

The programme is to be completed by the end of this year and we hope to be able to use the touch screen voting machines for awareness purposes early next year for Trade Unions.

In terms of the budget for the project, it is approximately US$700,000 and we are grateful for this funding from the Government of Korea through A-WEB to facilitate this process.

We will be collaborating with A-WEB to ensure that the necessary environment is in place for the implementation of this programme. And we look forward to the completion of this programme as it is going to enhance our ICT capacities as well as introduce Fijians to electronic voting.

I must say, His Excellency, Samsung mobiles are very popular in Fiji.

And I am sure that technology from Korea will be received more positively.

Having said that, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the FEO team, I would like to say having joined A-WEB in 2015, this is a great achievement for us, in terms of having the Secretary General come to Fiji for this project. We are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with the A-WEB and partner organisations to enhance the quality of elections in Fiji.

So, Secretary General, sir, thank you very much for taking out your time and coming to Fiji. We hope you get some opportunities to have a look at our beautiful country and get your feet wet in the sea and dug up in the sand.

Having said those words, I would like to thank all the guests for attending this morning’s event. I would like to thank the Chairman of the Electoral Commission for officiating the signing and I would like to thank the Electoral Commissioners for availing themselves for this important event.

I would like to wish A-WEB the best for this year’s events.

Thank you very much and Vinaka Vakalevu.

 

-ENDS-

STATEMENT FROM MR. SURESH CHANDRA

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

 

21 February 2017

 

On 3 February 2017, I and six others were appointed by His Excellency the President as Electoral Commissioners in accordance with Section 75 of the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji.

 

In accordance with Section 75 of the Constitution, the Electoral Commission is responsible for the following in addition to any other powers under any other law:

  1. the registration of citizens as voters, and the regular revision of the Register of Voters;
  2. voter education;
  3. the registration of candidates for election;
  4. the settlement of electoral disputes, including disputes relating to or arising from nominations, but excluding election petitions and disputes subsequent to the declaration of election results; and
  5. monitoring and enforcing compliance with any written law governing elections and political parties.

 

As Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, I will work alongside my fellow Commissioners, the Supervisor of Elections and the Fijian Elections Office to ensure that all election activities are conducted in line with the Fijian Constitution and all other laws governing elections and that all Fijians receive election services of the highest possible quality.

 

I commend the FEO on the work achieved so far in preparation for the upcoming General Election and look forward to doing my part to contribute to these preparatory efforts.

 

I have already led our first meeting today at which it was decided to award the seat vacated in Parliament due to the resignation of Roko Tupou Draunidalo to Mr. Pramod Chand of the National Federation Party.

 

I speak on behalf of the entire Electoral Commission when I express our steadfast commitment to adhere to the highest standards of transparency, fairness and accountability in our work alongside our partners leading up to the 2018 General Election.

 

— ENDS —

First Aid and CPR Training

Address by Supervisor of Elections,

Mr Mohammed Saneem

First Aid and CPR Training

16 November 2016

 

 

 

Mr. Riaz, Facilitator Fiji Red Cross

Participants

Bula Vinaka and a very good morning to you all

 

I warmly welcome you to this two-day First Aid & CPR Training.

 

For most participants this is the first time to attend this Fijian Electoral Education Centre (FEEC) organized training on First Aid and CPR which is in line with Fijian Elections Office [FEO] Strategic Goal: 8 Objective 3 which is to provide capacity building programs for the Fijian Elections Office staff.

 

It is important for everyone to have basic knowledge on first aid. This is because the first assistance or treatment, which is given to a person in case of sudden injury or illness prior to getting professional care is significantly important in saving the lives, promote recovery and to prevent further damage to injured person.

 

Not every incident that requires first aid is a life-or-death situation, but first aid can help in minor incidents. You will get all the information you need from this training – and I am confident you will remember it when you are faced with real life situation.

 

We know you won’t always have specialist first aid equipment on hand, but this training will show you how to improvise in an emergency. After all this is “first aid” – you need to be able to act before the professionals get there.

 

Imagine everything that First aid may help to improve; from the outcome of many accidents, before professional medical help arrives. Such help may at times make a difference between life and death.  To sustaining the injured and helping prevent the condition from worsening. First Aid can also help hasten recovery in some situations. If I had to choose another good substitute for the term “first aid”, it would be “miracle”.

 

You would be pleased to know that being first aid ready is essentially easy. Done with your family and friends it can also be fun. As you will all to get to witness from the exhibits and demonstrations today and tomorrow, it doesn’t take much to learn how to bandage a fractured arm, stem bleeding, help a chocking victim or provide cardio pulmonary resuscitation(CPR) or the ‘kiss of life’ [as it is affectionately called] to someone who has lost consciousness and is not breathing. Acquiring these skills could in future help a family member, a friend or your next-door neighbor.

 

I also want to talk to you about worker safety. Every year, numerous workers are injured around the world which results in them missing work. Thankfully, at the FEO our safety record is better than the general workforce.

 

Whilst our workplace safety figures is not a concern, as your employer, as your Supervisor, I am responsible and devoted to creating a habit of excellence. I believe that safety will be an indicator that we’re making progress in changing our habits across the entire organisation. That’s how we should be judged.

 

I am indeed very encouraged to see all invited staff present this morning and would like to commend FEEC for organizing this two-days training.

 

I am also be very encouraged to see the participation of the Fiji Red Cross  in joining hands with FEO to heighten awareness of the importance of first aid in our workplace and thereon, our community.

 

Which is why we’re grateful that Red Cross, an organization that is well known for its disaster response activities, will be assisting in this training. As an organisation which primes itself for emergency and disaster response, it plays an integral role in promoting first aid readiness and equipping Fijians with lifesaving skills that would not only be useful during disasters, but also to face emergencies when they occur in daily situations.

 

I would like to take the opportunity to wish all participants well during this two-day training and also congratulate you in advance. You have certainly helped to reinforce the importance of first aid in this organisation.

 

Remember First aid doesn’t just facilitate recovery. It helps save lives.

 

Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu

—ENDS—

Address by Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

Signing of Terms of Reference

 Electoral Security Advisory Group

Fijian Election Office, Fiji Police Force and Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption

15 November 2016

 

Commissioner of Police

Deputy Commissioner, Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption

Colleagues of the Electoral Security Advisory Group

Members of the Media

 

 

Bula Vinaka and a very good morning to you all.

 

I would like to welcome you all to the signing of the Terms of Reference, Electoral Security Advisory Group [ESAG] between, Fijian Elections Office [FEO], Fiji Police Force and Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption [FICAC].

This group “Electoral Security Advisory Group” stemmed after the Electoral Risk Management Workshop, which was conducted by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, IDEA, in April this year.

 

The workshop was attended by Fiji Police, FICAC and FEO and they collectively agreed that a working committee, Election Security Advisory Group be formed and be responsible in planning for electoral security for the next General election.

 

After the formalization of this Terms of Reference, the working group will have regular meetings to discuss and evaluate the security situation specially reflated to electoral activities only and provide necessary recommendations to FEO and SoE.

 

It is an internationally recognized electoral principle to have peaceful elections. Security is inescapable in this process and can affect both the actual, and perceived, legitimacy of the electoral outcomes.  An equitably secure environment for electoral participants is fundamental to their engagement in the process, and by extension, the goal of an election itself.

 

Thus it is imperative to draw on information and expertise from security agencies and develop communications and coordination among the agencies responsible for the administration and security of an elections.

 

This is a strategic endeavor between FEO and the security partners, Fiji Police and FICAC in anticipating and pre-empting security risks, mitigating their impact or probability of occurrence.

 

The core responsibilities of the ESAG will be:

  1. Review and analyse the FEO Operations Plans to identify and highlight security issues that are likely to arise;
  2. Based on the issues highlighted in (1) above, provide feedback and recommendations to resolve the security issues;
  3. Utilize the FEO Operations Plans to make necessary arrangements to properly discharge their respective duties under the Electoral Decree;
  4. Make use of the most latest technology and methodology to ensure efficient and secure conduct of elections; and
  5. Establish an appropriate communication mechanism between all the organizations during the election period.

 

The FEO will provide the necessary facilities for the proper functioning of the ESAG. FEO will also provide equipment and secretariat services to the ESAG.

 

It is expected for ESAG to meet as necessary during key periods of operations. ESAG operations team may meet on a monthly basis and even at more regular intervals closer to elections. The group may also create ad-hoc working committees on specific topics to ensure proper delivery of this TOR.

 

ESAG aims to provide all organisations a common platform for information exchange whilst fully maintaining their utmost independence.

 

I wish ESAG all the best in the   planning for electoral security for the 2018 General election.

 

Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu

—ENDS—

Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections [BRIDGE] Training program

Closing Remarks, Fijian Electoral Commission Chairman, Mr Chen Bunn Young

The Supervisor of Elections,

Participants,

Colleagues from the Fijian Elections Office.

 

Bula Vinaka

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

 

—ENDS—

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