Launching of the

Fijian Elections Office 2024-2027 Strategic Plan

and the

Elections Disability Access Working Group or EDAWG’s 4-

Year Workplan

EC Chairperson: Ms. Barbara Malimali
Friday 03 November 2023
Holiday Inn

Your Excellencies,
the Acting Supervisor of Elections,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen,

Ni Sa Bula Vinaka and a very good morning to all of you.

I am deeply honoured to join you today as the Chief Guest at the launching of the Fijian Elections Office [“FEO”] 2024-2027 Strategic Plan and the Elections Disability Access Working Group or EDAWG’s 4- Year Workplan. Today marks a pivotal juncture in our nation’s electoral history, as it signifies our commitment to rebuilding trust, ensuring inclusivity, and engaging all Fijian citizens in our electoral processes.

First and foremost, I must commend the Fijian Elections Office for its proactive stance in addressing the challenges and concerns that have emerged in recent years through the launch and endeavor to implement this plan. Our democracy stands as the cornerstone of our society, and the Electoral Commission as well as the Fijian Elections Office play a central role in ensuring that the voice of every Fijian is not only heard but also respected. As the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, I stand before you today to pledge my unwavering support for the vision and mission outlined in this Strategic Plan.

Rebuilding trust and confidence is no small feat, yet it is a necessary one. The Electoral Commission shares this perspective and applauds the FEO for acknowledging the importance of regaining the trust of the Fijian people. This strategic plan lays out a comprehensive roadmap to achieve just that. By enhancing transparency, accountability, and accessibility, the FEO is taking critical steps to ensure that every Fijian has unwavering faith in the fairness and integrity of our electoral procedures.

On the topic of inclusivity, I am delighted to inform you that the EDAWG, will be presenting its 4-Year Work Plan to the Electoral Commission. This underscores the FEO’s proactive and inclusive approach to the conduct of elections in Fiji, ensuring that all citizens, regardless of their abilities, can participate fully in the electoral process.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen, it is important to remember that the Electoral Commission and the FEO are two distinct and independent entities, each with its constitutional mandate for overseeing elections in Fiji. The Electoral Commission is responsible for formulating policies and procedures that guarantee the conduct of free and fair elections, while the FEO oversees the overall execution of elections in Fiji. This Strategic Plan reassures us, the Electoral Commission, of the FEO’s commitment to chart a new course, fostering greater inclusiveness in Fiji’s electoral processes.

Furthermore, let me emphasize that the Electoral Commission has the mandate to scrutinize and oversee the operations of the FEO. We are committed to holding the FEO accountable for meeting the objectives and goals set forth in their new strategic plan.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly support the 2024-2027 Strategic Plan of the Fijian Elections Office. This is a forward-thinking, comprehensive, and ambitious Plan that steers our democracy onto a new trajectory. Together, we can rebuild trust and confidence, eliminate administrative barriers, and create a more inclusive and engaging electoral process. The success of this plan will serve as a testament to the resilience and robustness of our democracy.

I extend my deepest gratitude to all who have tirelessly worked to shape this plan and to all those present today who share the vision of a stronger, more inclusive Fiji. Let us unite in this eendeavour to transform this vision to reality and ensure that our electoral processes become a source of pride for every Fijian. Thank you, and may our democratic journey be marked by unity, progress, and continued success.

Thank you and Vinaka vakalevu.