Statement from the Chair of The Electoral Commission
Mr Suresh Chandra
The Electoral Commission welcomes the announcement by the Attorney General and the Minister responsible for Elections that the government is now considering amending the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act 2012 as well as other consequent legislation so as to ensure the registration in the National Register of Voters is done based on records that are maintained officially at other agencies of Government.
The Electoral Commission recognizes that the right to Free and Fair elections is guaranteed under the Fijian Constitution cannot be properly executed until and unless the Voter List that is to be used in the national election is free from error, correct and the same can be verified against other relevant documents and official sources.
“To this end the Electoral Commission has always supported the Fijian Elections Office in its endeavors to match and verify details of voters against other registries in Fiji. We understand that the Court in a recent judgement has made findings which allows registration of individuals with details that may not be found directly from official sources,” said Chair,
“Whilst, we respect the decision of the Court, the Electoral Commission as the institution that is responsible for the conduct of a free and fair election in accordance with the laws of Fiji, the Electoral Commission is also concerned that the same might set a precedent where people may enroll themselves in the National Register using pseudo names and names that we are not able to verify. This may result in issues on Election Day where the names may not be found and may also result in abuse of the voter card as a universal ID when people apply for financial services and government services etc…”
The Electoral Commission is concerned about the paramount credibility of the voter register and as such the Electoral Commission welcomes and supports the current efforts by government to amend the electoral legislation to ensure that the voter list remains accurate, complete and verifiable.
The Electoral Commission will review the proposed amendment and provide its comments once it is received.
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