Speech by EC Chairperson, Concluding Remarks

Date: 15 September 2022, Time: 11am.

Venue: FEO Conference Room, Level 1, HQ.

Your excellencies, members of diplomatic core, ladies and gentlemen. Ni Sa Bula Vinaka and thank you for joining us at this critical juncture as we work towards delivering the 2022 General Election.

As you have all witnessed throughout todays program, we are Election ready. In every election cycle, we must constantly work on improving the experience of our voters in order to make voting easy and more accessible to the largest number of voters possible. 

The details revealed about the easy steps guide, which will be made available to persons with visual impairments suggests that we are not leaving any Fijian behind in our pursuit of a free and fair election. 

I would like to thank the Director Operations and her team, as well as the Election Disability Access Working Group for making this possible. 

I would also like to congratulate the FEO on its Election Readiness Survey Report. Because of this, we have been able to gauge levels of voter preparedness in Fiji as the nation awaits the announcement of the 2022 General Election. 

We have been able to get data to identify if there are any gaps in voter awareness and Fijians’ access to voter services. Based on this, the FEO can further enhance its strategies if needed to enable Fijians to fully prepare themselves to vote in the 2022 General Election.

Another important step in Election readiness is media accreditation. This is important to ensure compliance with the laws regarding electoral reporting, since we are in the period where media organizations, freelance journalists, broadcasters, publishers and international media will be looking to cover aspects of the general Election. 

I wish to reiterate to the media organizations as well as CSOs to obtain a copy of the Accreditation Form so that they can cover the 2022 General Election.

Lastly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the teams involved in the publication of the Provisional Voter List. This is a critical part of the electoral cycle and since it will be made public, voters now have a chance to check their names to see if it is correctly placed on the voter list.

I would urge all interested voters to take the time to check the Provisional Voter List, and alert the FEO if you have any issues. 

Based on the presentation by the Supervisor of Elections in our meeting last week, the Electoral Commission has approved that the FEO can pack and transport ballot paper books in custom designed ballot paper transport cardboard boxes if the number of candidates exceed 320. 

We have also approved that all used ballot papers at the election must only be packed and transported in the ballot box with proper security and tracking. 

While we are election ready, we will continue to review each and every step of preparations and continue to deliver more innovations so that the process of elections becomes easy and convenient for all voters.

Thank you and Vinaka vaka levu.