Statement by Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mr Mukesh Nand

Opening of the 2022 General Election Media Training

Date: 8/09/2022

Time: 9am

Venue: FEO Ground Floor Conference Room

The Supervisor of Elections, Mr Mohammed Saneem, members of various media organizations in Fiji, ladies and gentlemen, Bula Vinaka, and a good morning to you all. 

It gives me great pleasure to address you this morning. 

The media plays a critical part in the execution of the 2022 General Election, as it is responsible for the dissemination of election information to a mass audience.  

As you are aware, we are in the period where the Writ for the election can be issued at any time. It is the time when various campaign activities are happening, political parties are seeking high levels of coverage in the media, and the general public is paying close attention to what is being said on the news. 

Now more than ever, it is important that the media is well versed with the electoral process, and disseminates the most correct and relevant information. This includes knowledge of the campaign rules, Electoral Laws, how, where, and what is happening, gender-balanced reporting and reporting about persons with disability, amongst other things. 

Every step of the way, the voting population must also be involved and informed about the current developments, and all the relevant information must be presented to the general public in the most politically neutral and factual manner. 

The 2022 General Election Media Training is the initiative of the Fijian Elections Office, and an attempt to work with the various media organizations for the benefit of the voters. 

This year, media training was done through our online, eVuli platform. Beginning July this year, the platform was made available to whoever wanted to sign up and enroll in the course. 

In the first, second and third phase of the media training, we have introduced various initiatives for journalists, journalism students and any member of the general public. 

Ultimately, the goal is to enhance reporting around elections. We, therefore, sincerely hope that all those in attendance will not only walk away with a great deal of knowledge about electoral reporting, but will share this knowledge with their colleagues in their newsrooms. 

We wish you the very best. 

Vinaka Vakalevu.