The Supervisor of Elections [SoE] today conducted the first Trade Union election capacity building session at the Friendly North Inn, Labasa. The session was attended by Trade Union Officials, Trade Union Members as well as Employer representatives based in Labasa.

“It is an effective start to our plans to improve capacity of all relevant stakeholders and the turnout in Labasa was impressive,” said Mr. Mohammed Saneem, Supervisor of Elections.

The SoE highlighted the issues Fijian Elections Office [FEO] continued to face in terms of the lack of information about the actual list of members that Trade Unions have.

“We told the forum about how there are discrepancies between the list of member Unions submit at the time they give Notice of Intention to hold Trade Union Elections against the numbers kept in the records of the Registrar of Trade Union. Sometimes these discrepancies run into the hundreds,” explained Mr Saneem.

The FEO has proposed to maintain lists of members for Trade Unions as part of its ongoing electoral related responsibility. The FEO already maintains Voter Registration records of over 600,000 Fijians and will be able to expand its IT capacity to cater for this new database.

Participants, especially those from the Fiji Nursing Association expressed their appreciation to FEO for using Postal Ballot for their election allowing all nurses the opportunity to vote. Postal ballots are an alternative form of voting that FEO uses in cases where the voter is engaged in essential services.

The Capacity development training will continue in Suva tomorrow (27 September) and in the West on 28 September.