The Fijian Elections Office [FEO] signed a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] with the Central Elections Commission [CEC] of the Russian Federation yesterday [Thursday, October 13, 2016].

The Fijian Elections Office representative Director Operations Ms Anaseini Senimoli was received by the Secretary of the CEC Ms Maya Grishina and the two discussed briefly on issues relating to elections before the signing ceremony at the CECs HQ in Moscow, Russia.

L-R Fijian Elections Office Director Operations, Ms Anaseini Senimoli, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Mr Robin Nair, Secretary of the Central Elections Commission of the Russian Federation Ms Maya Grishina during the signing of the MoU.

Ms Senimoli thanked the Central Elections Commission for their continued support and assistance for newly established Election Management Bodies (EMBs) such as the FEO. She also highlighted that FEO is committed to its support of the MoU, as it establishes a platform for the two parties to strengthen its relationship and commitment in the field of elections by promoting democracy in free and fair elections through their electoral processes.

The MoU ensures that both parties actively promotes the exchange of knowledge and experience through capacity building and support on identified priority areas in the field of electoral management and administration, including exchange of information, materials, expertise and organized training of personnel.

In her closing remarks, Ms Grishina thanked FEO for their commitment towards democracy and extended an invitation for the FEO to be part of the Observers Group for the Russian Presidential election in early 2018. “This will be an opportunity for our Fijian counterparts to come and see how the CEC runs their one day election covering 85 electoral division over the country” she said.

The Central Elections Commission of the Russian Federation had sent 3 officials to observe the 2014 General Election in Fiji. They were part of the Multinational Observer Group which was co led by Australia, Indonesia and India.

The Russian Federation is the world’s largest nation bordering European and Asian countries and has over a 100 million voters spread across an area of 13.1 million square kilometres.

Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Mr Robin Nair accompanied Ms Senimoli to the signing ceremony. The two are part of the Government delegation currently in Moscow attending bilateral discussions with various ministries and departments of the Federation of Russia.

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