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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-