Electoral Commission Strengthens Dialogue with Political Parties through
Informal ‘Talanoa’ Session
The Electoral Commission [‘EC’] held a constructive ‘talanoa’ on Friday, 10 November 2023, fostering open dialogue with representatives of political parties over afternoon tea. This initiative aligns with the EC’s ongoing commitment to rebuilding trust of the people in the EC.
Ms. Barbara Malimali, Chairperson of the EC, expressed satisfaction with the talanoa, highlighting the valuable exchange of experiences and ideas that transpired among the EC and the attending political party representatives. The session went beyond the contemporary political landscape, delving into historical perspectives dating back to 1970.
“I am very pleased with today’s talanoa session. Despite the presence of only two parties, we had a wonderful exchange of ideas and experiences. I believe we should conduct more awareness sessions with political parties that go beyond the General Secretary level,” said
Representatives from the All Peoples Party and the People’s Alliance, namely Mr. Laiakini Waqanisau and Mr. Usaia Waqatairewa, respectively, expressed gratitude to the EC for organizing the session. Both representatives appreciated the relaxed atmosphere of the
“I am glad we had this session in a very relaxed atmosphere, and I thank the EC for inviting our party to attend,” said Mr. Waqatairewa.
“I thank the EC for organizing this session. We are happy to attend this session and meet the commission members as we only see them in the media,” added Mr. Waqanisau.
The EC members, in turn, were delighted with the talanoa as it provided insights into the workings of political parties, allowing them to address concerns and identify opportunities for future engagements.
Commissioner Nemani Mati remarked, “I found today’s session to be useful, listening to the political parties and the issues they raised, which, in their views, weren’t fair. It was good to listen to them, and I hope that moving forward we can hold more sessions like this.”
Commissioner Dr. Atu Emberson Bain emphasized the cordial and informal nature of the talanoa, describing it as informative. “It was great to meet with representatives of political parties and ask them what kinds of issues might have arisen for them regarding the conduct of the last election and how we can assist and serve them better. Several concerns were raised and we forward to looking into these.”
Following the talanoa, the EC convened its seventh meeting of the newly constituted EC, demonstrating its commitment to fostering ongoing dialogue and collaboration.