Speech by Electoral Commission Chairperson Mukesh Nand. 

30 March 2022

Session 1: Voter Turnout and Survey 

Matua Conference Room at Grand Pacific Hotel

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to the first session at this critical forum on Voter Participation and Engagement. 

I am excited and looking forward to the presentations that will follow after mine, especially when it comes to looking with data on the turnout and the surveys that followed in the 2018 General Election as well as the surveys that had been done prior to the 2022 Know Your Election (KYE) campaign. 

Whilst we are in the KYE campaign drive right now, it is opportune time for the Election Management Body, Electoral Commission as well as for all relevant stakeholders to understand the nature of the voter base, behaviour of the voting population as well as the aspirations and expectations of all those who will be going to the polls in the 2022 General Election. 

I am particularly interested in looking at reasons as to why the turnout in 2018 General Election decreased. In addition, I am looking forward to the discussion of the trend following in terms of the general interest of the members of the public when it comes to politics, elections and voting altogether. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are not the exact signs, however the turnout on Election Day is based on several factors such as the:

  1. Based interest of the voter  
  2. Accessibility options of a polling venue which is provided to the voter 
  3. General atmosphere of security 
  4. The level of information that the voter has received in relation to the contestants in the election 
  5. The personal commitment of the voter in terms of participating in the elections 
  6. Higher levels of education are generally associated with higher rates of voter turnout
  7. Age is an important factor which affects voter turnout

Whilst the list that I have given is long but not comprehensive enough, there are many various reasons that may be minor to major when it comes to determining whether a voter cast his or her vote or not. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, this workshop today will also be giving us some interesting ideas and schemes that various stakeholders will be using to develop the national interest in elections and voting in Fiji. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, having said all of these, I know I have just spoken after the opening ceremony and yet again I am here speaking to you as the first speaker of this forum. I would like to say that when we close this Forum this afternoon, I urge all stakeholders and participants to come up with at least five (5) strategies to enhance the participation of voters in the 2022 General Election. 

I am looking forward to working with you all so that we can try our best to implement these strategies come the next general election.  

Thank You. 

Vinaka Vakalevu