Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission
Mr Suresh Chandra
Know Your Election Awareness Training
Suva – 05/03/18 – 8.30am
The Supervisor of Elections,
Ladies and gentlemen;
Bula Vinaka and a very warm welcome to you all this morning.
Ladies and gentlemen, you have been selected to provide awareness to Fijians all over the country on how to prepare for the 2018 General Election.
This is a very important task as we need Fijians, voters and potential voters to be fully prepared and adequately knowledgeable before they put pen to their ballot paper.
Every one of you now is a representative of the Fijian Elections Office and your actions will reflect on all of us and our preparations for the 2018 General Election.
At all times, we must operate with the highest standards of conduct in order to maintain the faith and trust of the Fijian people.
Nothing less will be tolerated by me or by the public whom we serve.
There will be times when you are faced by those who might try to discredit you, belittle the work you are doing, or ask you to bend the rules.
I ask you now not get influenced by external factors when conducting your awareness. Do not change what you will learn in training just because someone does not like it.
The Voter Services and Awareness team, the Strategic Development and Communications team and the Fijian Electoral Education Centre [FEEC] has developed this training to be as simple and informative as possible so that you can take the same to the ordinary Fijians around the country.
We have also translated the same into vernacular languages for the benefit of those who may not be well versed in the English language.
As civic trainers, you are responsible for explaining the electoral system to the Fijian people so that voters are prepared for Election Day by knowing how to vote, when to vote and where to vote and also how their votes will be counted.
Through the course of your training, we will teach you how to use simple language to explain the different issues, although you must be aware that while some people will understand the new system straight away, others might need a little more time.
I expect that you will remain calm, approachable, friendly and patient under any circumstance. Remember to always treat others the way you would expect to be treated yourselves.
Ladies and gentlemen, at the end of this training, we know you will be better informed and be able to increase awareness about the electoral process in whichever community you visit.
We want the 2018 General Election to be a platform for all Fijians to express their will with confidence, security and freedom.
I wish you all the best in training and I urge you to listen and learn attentively.
Thank you and vinaka vakalevu.