Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

 Closing of the Stakeholders Forum on Enhancing Voter Participation 

The Grand Pacific Hotel


30 March 2022

The Honourable Attorney General;

Representatives of the Political Parties;

And other invited guests;

I would like to thank all of you for attending this Stakeholders Forum on Enhancing Voter Participation.

This forum was organized to hear your views and opinions as we prepare for the upcoming 2022 General Election and I am pleased that we had a very constructive and practicable discussions surrounding on how we all can work together to enhance voter participation in the country.

As I had alluded earlier in the morning, Fiji has transitioned from a compulsory voting jurisdiction to one where voting is voluntary. This changes the dynamics significantly. This is where voter participation is critical and this is where all stakeholders such as political parties, members of the civil society, youths, academia and members of the public play an important role.

Looking at the contributions made by each one of you today, I as the Electoral Commission[EC] Chairperson together with my fellow commissioners, the Supervisor of Elections[SoE] and his team at the Fijian Election Office[FEO] will continue to work together with you in order to enhance voter participation as we prepare for the 2022 General Election.

 We all need to play our part and I am confident that the FEO is on the right track in terms of their voter engagement and participation programs, and initiatives.

Preparing for an Election is no easy task. It involves a lot of planning, strategizing and implementation. Currently, the FEO is conducting its Nationwide Voter Registration Drive and the Know Your Election Campaign which will conclude on 14 April 2022. 

We have already surpassed the 120,000 mark in terms of voter engagement and we are confident that these numbers will continue to grow as we progress further into the drive.  

The ideas and opinions generated today is a collective contribution to review and organize ourselves so that we can drive more voter participation come Election Day.

As we are all aware, the electoral system in Fiji does not provide for a fixed date for the conduct of the General Election. Instead, the election can be called any time from the 9th of July 2022 till the 9th of January 2023. While we do not know the date of election yet, we want everyone to be prepared.

Thank You. 

Vinaka Vakalevu