Statement by Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mr Mukesh Nand
Election Preparation Update
The Supervisor of Elections, Mr Mohammed Saneem,
Representatives of the international community,
Ladies and gentlemen, Bula Vinaka, and a good morning to you all.
It gives me great pleasure to join the Supervisor of Elections this morning in providing an update on Election Preparations for the 2022 General Election.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to firstly congratulate the Fijian Elections Office on the successful implementation of the second round of the Nationwide Voter Registration Drive and Know Your Election Campaign which concluded on 3rd September.
In the first round, the FEO had recorded over 200,000 voter engagements while in the second phase, the teams managed to serve over 62,000 Fijians.
Following the major drive, we now have 689,974 registered voters in Fiji. As per the latest voter stats, we have now recorded 346,129 males and 343,845 females on the National Register of Voters.
The largest cohort of voters sit in between the ages of 21 to 50 years. In terms of the geographical distribution, a highest number of voters are concentrated in the Central Division which makes up 42.9% of the voter register followed by the Western Division which makes up 37.46%.
We have 593,134 Fijians who have upgraded and are on the Blue colored VoterCard while 96,840 are still on the Green VoterCard. The FEO is rolling out extensive voter services from this weekend again so that voters who are still on the Green VoterCard, can upgrade.
Furthermore, we have also commenced Provisional Voter List Display in all urban centres. Since last weekend, voters now have been given the opportunity to check their names on the Voter List and verify their details and the exercise will continue this weekend as well.
Meanwhile, 3 rounds of Provisional Voter List verification have already been conducted in rural and maritime areas.
Ladies and gentlemen, meaningful engagement with stakeholders is key to the electoral process and as such the EC and FEO continue our engagements with the media and political parties as well.
I am told the FEO has already conducted an extensive Media Training program for local journalists and media personnel and the SoE will be talking in detail about it later.
On 25 April 2022, the EC had officially announced the official campaign period for the upcoming general election as well under Section 109 A (1) of the Electoral Act 2014.
Since then a number of meetings have also been held by FEO with political parties to keep them informed and the Supervisor of Elections held a meeting last Wednesday to provide them a one (1) year update in terms of preparations going into the 2022 General Election.
Ladies and Gentleman, the election date can be announced any day now and we have to be prepared.
I have had the opportunity to talk about some of the activities and initiatives for this election and the Supervisor of Elections will be talking about them in detail during his presentation.
I would like to end with saying that as the Commission overseeing the electoral process, our goal has always been to deliver an election that is fair and credible and broadly reflects the will of Fijians, and at the same time allows them to cast their votes with confidence, security and freedom.
Ladies and gentlemen, elections preparations are on track and the Commission and the FEO will continue to make every effort to enable every eligible Fijian to exercise their Right to Vote in this election.
I would like to say a big Vinaka Vakalevu to all our international partners and donor agencies for your continued partnership and support in the preparations for the 2022 General Election.
Vinaka Vaka Levu.