Announcement on the Official Campaign Period

by Sahil Sharma

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

Announcement on the Official Campaign Period

FEO Conference Room

Date: 25/04/22

Time: 3pm

 

Members of the Electoral Commission;

Supervisor of Elections;

Representatives from the media; and

Staff of the Fijian Elections Office;

Bula Vinaka and a Good Afternoon to everyone present here today.

As per Section 109 A (1) of the Electoral Act, 2014 the Electoral Commission must determine the campaign period for a general election.

Ladies and gentleman, I would like to announce that the official campaign period for the 2022 General Election will start from tomorrow 26th April 2022 and end 48 hours before Election Day.

As you are aware, the electoral system in Fiji does not provide for a fixed date for the conduct of the General Election. While we do not know the date of election yet, the campaign period will start a month before the earliest date that the election writ can be issued by the President which is 26 May 2022.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the official campaign period signifies that the campaign rules under the Electoral Act 2014 will now come into effect.

Following this announcement today, I will also be launching the Candidates Handbook which explains in detail the various campaign rules that will apply and I urge political parties to go through the Handbook and the Electoral Act and familiarize themselves with these rules.

As we head into the official campaign period, voters can look forward to the manifestoes being put forth by political parties which will give them an opportunity to assess and determine who they would like to vote for come Election Day. It is of utmost importance that political parties do not mislead voters or engage in unlawful activities such as vote buying and bribery in order to manipulate or win support.

The Fijian Elections Office will continue to monitor the campaign activities during this period and anyone found in breach will be dealt with in accordance to the law.

I take this opportunity to urge all political parties and affiliates to campaign in a manner that is fair, transparent and as per the electoral laws of the country.

Ladies and gentlemen as of midnight tonight, the official campaign period for the 2022 General Election will commence.

 

Vinaka.

Political Party Electoral Processes Workshop 

by Sahil Sharma

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

Political Party Electoral Processes Workshop 

Suvavou House

Date: 21/04/22

Time: 8:00am

The Supervisor of Elections; 

Representatives of Political Parties; 

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

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Electoral Commission[EC] is required by law to conduct regular meetings with political parties and since the beginning of this year we have been holding various meetings and sessions with political parties to upskill and build their capacity.

Today’s workshop is one of the most critical amongst all of our meetings and I understand from the presentations today, the Supervisor of Elections[SoE] will be providing political parties with first hand direct information on the actual processes involved in the various steps along the way.

Ladies and Gentlemen, at this juncture, political parties must realize that operational plans of the Fijian Elections Office[FEO] are tentative in nature and of course be affected by various factors once the election date is announced.

They are to be treated for information purposes, for planning and preoperational purposes and you must always ensure that you treat it with a caution that things are subject to change.

Ladies and Gentlemen, COVID-19 has taught us a very important lesson in life and that it is that we must not take things for granted and that is why you will notice that some of these plans still incorporate COVID safe measures for the very reason that we need to be prepared incase anything surprises us.

We have noticed that political parties participate in all these forums and yet their leaders continue to make incorrect statements about the elections.

We hope that the representation of political parties in these sessions is at very senior levels so that the information that is provided by the Fijian Elections Office reaches the people that actually do a lot of your political party talking.

The choice of venue for any training for political parties is determined based on the cost, availability, the size and as well the suitability. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you very much for your attendance today. With that, I wish you all a productive and successful workshop and I officially declare the Political Party Electoral Processes Workshop open.

Vinaka

Bonanza Draw

by Sahil Sharma

Statement by Electoral Commission Chairperson Mr Mukesh Nand

Event: Bonanza Draw

Venue: FEO Ground Level Conference Room

Time: 7:00pm

Date: 20/04/22

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen. 

It is my honour to preside over this Draw to determine the 300 winners of the $30,000 Bonanza put in place by the Fijian Elections Office [‘FEO’], for the Nationwide Voter Registration Drive. 

As we are all aware, the Nationwide Voter Registration Drive resulted in the successful engagement of over 200,000 voters with the FEO. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, prior to the Drive, the FEO had proposed a $30,000 prize money to promote as many Fijians as possible to come down and update to the latest Blue VoterCard or update their details. As such, it was decided that 300 lucky people will walk away with $100 cash. 

Based on that Ladies and Gentlemen, the FEO has set-up these four (4) computers and the Draw will be conducted by a random draw software application.

Ladies and Gentlemen because of the great number of participants in this Bonanza, the Draw will be done electronically and this software will randomly select the Electronic Voter Numbers of 300 lucky winners. 

As was said in the beginning, each voter can only participate once in the Bonanza even though they may have accessed voter services more than once. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, those who had participated in the Nationwide Voter Registration Drive beginning on 25th  February 2022 right up until 14th April 2022, are eligible to participate and without any further ado, I will now proceed to each of these computers and generate the list of winners from the entire list of people that had participated in the Nationwide Voter Registration Drive.

Thank You. 

Vinaka Vaka Levu.     

Launch of the Presiding Officers Training

by Sahil Sharma

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission 

Launch of the Presiding Officers Training 

Tanoa Waterfront Hotel  

Lautoka 

8:30am 

19 April 2022 

The Supervisor of Elections, 

FEO Directors, 

Presiding and Assistant Officers trainees and, 

Invited Guests. 

Ladies and Gentlemen. 

Bula Vinaka and a warm welcome to the Presiding Officers Training Launch for the 2022  General Election. 

Congratulations on your shortlisting to be the Polling station managers on Election Day or  during Pre-poll. On the date of polling, you all will be the senior most Election Officials on the 

ground and in-charge of the polling place. This is a huge responsibility and we all believe that  each of you have proven on merit that you are capable of the task. 

This training is for both potential Presiding and Assistant Presiding Officers. These trainings  will be a full day training which will start from 19 April 2022 and end on 26 May 2022 and  we expect to train 7,145 participants during this Phase.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, these trainings are an essential component for preparing you to  manage polling. It will prepare you for all the tasks that you have to undertake and also to  administer. Do not underestimate the importance of any task. All of them are important. I  repeat – all of them are important. 

You will all play a vital role come Election Day. You will not only represent yourself during  the national exercise but also act as ambassadors for the Fijian Elections Office[FEO]. 

The Presiding Officers Manual will be your guide and it will have all the answers you may  have. Also, each one of you will undertake specific tasks at your respective Polling Venues  and Polling Stations on Election Day. 

The team at FEO has transferred all the necessary legal requirements into the manuals for you. Use those manuals. Follow all instructions in the manual. There will be polling agents  and observers that will be trained to check that you follow all the procedures come Election  Day. 

So it is of high importance that every one of you pay attention during the trainings. You can  ask questions if you are not sure or confused with the respective trainers and most  importantly practice what you are going to learn during the training. 

You have been selected for a reason and that is to be a focal point of communication between  the FEO and the voters that will turn up to cast their votes at Polling Venues around the  country on Election Day.  

We at the Electoral Commission [EC] together with team from the FEO expect the best from  you. We need you to be fair, honest, impartial, hardworking and demonstrate confidently in  your line of work and we have full confidence that you will be able to demonstrate these. 

We encourage you not to be easily influenced by outside sources such as social media, fake  news, misinformation and disinformation which you will often come across now until the  election. 

On the topic of fake news and misinformation, in the recently launched Pre-Election Voter  Survey by the FEO, of the 9,292 responses, 62 % had noticed fake news on social media  websites while 38% did not.  

As expected, majority of persons have suggested that they had come across fake news,  misinformation on Facebook with Facebook being the most widely used social network in  Fiji. It is imperative that every employee of the FEO demonstrate a greater level of  responsible online behavior. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, you may ask why the EC and the FEO provide adequate trainings and  emphasize the importance of such trainings. One may just have to look at the Multinational  Observer Group Report on the 2006 General Election, where it had been noted that polling  place rules were applied inconsistently. In some places, the polling places were setup under  trees without any exact guidelines. In some polling places, polling staff allowed people to  enter the venue carrying their bags while polling officers in other polling venues required  voters to leave their bags outside before they entered.

We must ensure that we follow the procedures laid out by the FEO. These have been  prepared with the experience of two (2) elections and the review by various electoral experts  that support the FEO. You will also find that these procedures are also consistent with many  other countries in the world conduct elections. Be confident and execute these processes.  

Before I conclude, let me remind you that this is a very important year for the nation. We are  preparing for the Election. I and my fellow Commissioners would like to encourage that you  all need to play your part, work together as a team and apply the trainings and learnings you  will receive in your respective work.  

I wish you all the very best in the training and look forward to working with you as we deliver  the 2022 General Election. 

Vinaka Vakalevu

Launch of the Pilot Community Elections Advocate Training of Trainers Community  Engagement Project  

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission 

Launch of the Pilot Community Elections Advocate Training of Trainers Community  Engagement Project  

Tanoa Waterfront Hotel, Lautoka 

Date: 19/04/22 

Time: 9:00am 

The Supervisor of Elections; 

United Nations Development Programme staff; 

Training Facilitators; 

Representatives of various community groups and 

Members of the media 

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

We have had two (2) general elections under the current electoral system. Until now, Fiji has  had elections based on the ‘first past the post system’, ‘limited preferential system’ and now  the proportional representation’ system. 

As the Electoral Commission [EC], it is our job to create and disseminate information about  the electoral system and Fiji’s electoral processes. We firmly believe that only through direct  and crude information, we can build an active, informed and confident voter population in  Fiji. 

I am here today to launch this ambitious initiative that should contribute to building the  stock when it comes to our efforts. We will directly train community based representatives  to become Election Awareness Trainers. These Community Elections Advocates will then  conduct a 15-minute awareness session with their community members. 

We decided to be strategic about this. The Fijian Elections Office [FEO] has already  conducted its Nationwide Registration of Voters Drive and this new initiative will add to the  ongoing awareness efforts. It will add to the transfer of information and continue to build on  the information that is already out there. 

What better than having a conversation about one of the most important functions we have  as citizens of Fiji than to have that conversation with your friend, colleague or community  representative. At the end of the day, it is our responsibility and we should know about it.  We should be the ones talking about it! 

I would like to acknowledge the collaboration of the UNDP with the FEO in facilitating this  critical community-based initiative. Making elections a topic of discussion in the grass-roots  and arming people with direct crude information is certainly the way to go! 

Before I conclude, I want to wish all the participants that have been selected and who will be  trained all the best and I am confident that you will be able to carry out your roles diligently  and effectively. 

With that being said, I now officially launch the Pilot Community Elections Advocate Training  of Trainers session.  

Vinaka Vakalevu

Signing of Agreement Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

Mr Mukesh Nand

 Signing Agreement with the Australian High Commission for Funding of Audit of National Register of Voters 

FEO HQ

Suva

31/03/2022

His Excellency Mr John Feakes, the Australian High Commissioner;

Representatives from the Australian High Commission and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and;  

Supervisor of Elections, Mr Mohammed Saneem

Bula Vinaka and warm greeting from the Electoral Commission[EC].

Today we are gathered here for a very important event that will see the continuation of the partnership and bond shared between the Australian Government and the Electoral Commission.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, the assistance worth $165,000AUD signed today between the EC and the Australian High Commission will help in the funding of the Audit of the National Register of Voters

The National Register of Voters is an essential element for the FEO in preparations towards an election and the FEO is responsible for the registration and maintenance of the Register. 

The Electoral Commission (EC) is constituted as an independent, non-partisan authority that has responsibility for the registration of voters and the conduct of free and fair elections in accordance with written laws governing elections in Fiji. The EC has many roles and one of them is the overall custodian of the Voter Register. 

The EC had wished to implement a significant recommendation by the Multinational Observer Group for the 2018 General Election which recommended that the National Register of Voters in Fiji should be audited by an Independent Auditor. 

As part of its responsibilities, the EC requires that the Nation Register of Voters is to be audited using internationally accepted standards by an independent agency in the area of elections. 

In October last year, the EC had reached out to the Australian Government and sought assistance to enable the EC to carry out this significant process ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s signing is a testament to the cordial and mutual relationship we have with the Australian Government and I am confident that as the EC Chairperson, this relationship will only continue to grow in years to come.

 The $165,000AUD provided today will facilitate the audit process and allow the EC to make determination on the manner in which the FEO is maintaining the Register and where necessary provide relevant direction to the FEO to improve the ways in which the Register is kept.

At this juncture, I would also like to shed some light on the scope of work that will be undertaken during the Audit of the Voter Register.

The primary scope of work will take place at the FEO and will include the Audit of the Procedures that will evaluate and assess the registration process and the flow of information from data collection to the creation of access points for voters- all the way to the registration of voters and the issuance of the Blue VoterCard.

Another area of focus is the Audit of the IT Systems as well as the Statistical Testing that will assess the quality of the voter register and voters list through the “list to voters” and/or the “people to list” method.

In addition to the above, appropriate recommendations for enhancing the accuracy and inclusiveness of the Voters Register will be provided.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as you know, this year is an important year for the EC and the FEO as we gear up for the 2022 General Election.  Support and assistance like this will go in a long way in enabling the EC and FEO to better prepare for the national exercise. 

We are very grateful for the support the Australian Government has provided to the Elections in Fiji in the past and we continue to appreciate the level of engagement the Australian Electoral Commission has with the FEO in the furtherance of credible Elections in Fiji and also the Pacific.

Thank You. 

Vinaka Vakalevu

Dhanyavad. 

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Closing Forum

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

 Closing of the Stakeholders Forum on Enhancing Voter Participation 

The Grand Pacific Hotel

Suva

30 March 2022

The Honourable Attorney General;

Representatives of the Political Parties;

And other invited guests;

I would like to thank all of you for attending this Stakeholders Forum on Enhancing Voter Participation.

This forum was organized to hear your views and opinions as we prepare for the upcoming 2022 General Election and I am pleased that we had a very constructive and practicable discussions surrounding on how we all can work together to enhance voter participation in the country.

As I had alluded earlier in the morning, Fiji has transitioned from a compulsory voting jurisdiction to one where voting is voluntary. This changes the dynamics significantly. This is where voter participation is critical and this is where all stakeholders such as political parties, members of the civil society, youths, academia and members of the public play an important role.

Looking at the contributions made by each one of you today, I as the Electoral Commission[EC] Chairperson together with my fellow commissioners, the Supervisor of Elections[SoE] and his team at the Fijian Election Office[FEO] will continue to work together with you in order to enhance voter participation as we prepare for the 2022 General Election.

 We all need to play our part and I am confident that the FEO is on the right track in terms of their voter engagement and participation programs, and initiatives.

Preparing for an Election is no easy task. It involves a lot of planning, strategizing and implementation. Currently, the FEO is conducting its Nationwide Voter Registration Drive and the Know Your Election Campaign which will conclude on 14 April 2022. 

We have already surpassed the 120,000 mark in terms of voter engagement and we are confident that these numbers will continue to grow as we progress further into the drive.  

The ideas and opinions generated today is a collective contribution to review and organize ourselves so that we can drive more voter participation come Election Day.

As we are all aware, the electoral system in Fiji does not provide for a fixed date for the conduct of the General Election. Instead, the election can be called any time from the 9th of July 2022 till the 9th of January 2023. While we do not know the date of election yet, we want everyone to be prepared.

Thank You. 

Vinaka Vakalevu

Dhanyavad. 

 

Kavita Raniga Speech Session 2 Regional EMB Initiatives in Enhancing Voter Participation

Speech by Ms Kavita Raniga 

30/03/2022

Matua Room at the Grand Pacific Hotel

Session Topic: Regional EMB Initiatives in Enhancing Voter Participation

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen

My name is Kavita Raniga and I am one of the six (6) members of the Electoral Commission. 

Today, I am honoured that I have been given an opportunity to deliver my speech. As the topic is on regional Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs), I will speak on how we, the Electoral Commission (EC) enhances voter participation here in Fiji. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I will be talking about how the Fiji’s EMB and the strategies put in place to engage voter participation. In order to vote, the precondition is that the vote must be cast by a valid registered voter. Thus, the first step is to register voters. And in Fiji, we do a lot of activities to facilitate this service to the potential voters. 

One major activity is the Nationwide Voter Registration Drive and Know Your Election Campaign conducted by us currently. Together with the FEO teams, the EC have been continuously on the ground visiting communities, villagers, towns and cities and providing voter services directly to people. We thank to the people whom have been taken advantage of these services, and we encourage those yet to come to us. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, since the launch of the drive on February 25 2022, we have received high demand from the public for FEO teams to visit their workplaces, events, Annual General Meetings’ [AGM’s], functions, settlements, villages and communities to conduct voter registrations.

Furthermore, we have received significant number of requests for mobile registrations for those that are unable to visit our Voter Services Centre’s[VSC’s] or registration teams in the field.

Since our awareness and registration drive started, we have reached places such as in Yasawa, Rotuma, Lau Group, Taveuni, Lomaiviti Group, Ovalau, Moturiki, Wakaya and Gau Island to name a few.  

And we are so glad to receive appreciate messages from the public. As an EMB, I guess this is one of the moments that we are looking forward to.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we will continues to advertise widely where, how and when citizens could apply to register or change their existing details and allowing voters to change their Polling Venues. We will provide the said services till the issuance of the Writ. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, we as EMB have tried to reach out to the people in Fiji as much as we can in ways of advertising via national television, radio broadcasting, newspapers, pamphlets, social media, websites and Business House Registration where businesses/organisations can do online booking with us so that a team can send to  your office to register/update the employees VoterCards. This initiative was welcomed by the business sector, and we thank them for their cooperation and enthusiastic. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are also very creative in terms of attracting new voters to register and existing voters to update their information and cards. We provide quizzes to increase voter education and participation specially to encourage youth to vote. We also have the $30,000 Bonanza for voters either to register or to upgrade voter cards/update voter details. 

In terms of voter participation, we have conducted surveys to find out the main causes why people participated in the election as well as the reasons as to why they did not vote. The result of the surveys has allowed us to devise our strategy to maximise that we continue to strive for excellence. On the other hand, the areas where we are lacking in, we try to find constructive solutions to it for the next general election.

Ladies and Gentlemen, there are many ways we can come up with on how to enhance voter participation. The above is some of ours in Fiji. I am eager to find our more interesting ideas and schemes that other regional EMBs are using to develop the national interest in elections.

Thank you

Vinaka Vakalevu

-Ends-

EC Chairperson Speech on Session 1 Voter Turnout and Survey

Speech by Electoral Commission Chairperson Mukesh Nand. 

30 March 2022

Session 1: Voter Turnout and Survey 

Matua Conference Room at Grand Pacific Hotel

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to the first session at this critical forum on Voter Participation and Engagement. 

I am excited and looking forward to the presentations that will follow after mine, especially when it comes to looking with data on the turnout and the surveys that followed in the 2018 General Election as well as the surveys that had been done prior to the 2022 Know Your Election (KYE) campaign. 

Whilst we are in the KYE campaign drive right now, it is opportune time for the Election Management Body, Electoral Commission as well as for all relevant stakeholders to understand the nature of the voter base, behaviour of the voting population as well as the aspirations and expectations of all those who will be going to the polls in the 2022 General Election. 

I am particularly interested in looking at reasons as to why the turnout in 2018 General Election decreased. In addition, I am looking forward to the discussion of the trend following in terms of the general interest of the members of the public when it comes to politics, elections and voting altogether. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are not the exact signs, however the turnout on Election Day is based on several factors such as the:

  1. Based interest of the voter  
  2. Accessibility options of a polling venue which is provided to the voter 
  3. General atmosphere of security 
  4. The level of information that the voter has received in relation to the contestants in the election 
  5. The personal commitment of the voter in terms of participating in the elections 
  6. Higher levels of education are generally associated with higher rates of voter turnout
  7. Age is an important factor which affects voter turnout

Whilst the list that I have given is long but not comprehensive enough, there are many various reasons that may be minor to major when it comes to determining whether a voter cast his or her vote or not. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, this workshop today will also be giving us some interesting ideas and schemes that various stakeholders will be using to develop the national interest in elections and voting in Fiji. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, having said all of these, I know I have just spoken after the opening ceremony and yet again I am here speaking to you as the first speaker of this forum. I would like to say that when we close this Forum this afternoon, I urge all stakeholders and participants to come up with at least five (5) strategies to enhance the participation of voters in the 2022 General Election. 

I am looking forward to working with you all so that we can try our best to implement these strategies come the next general election.  

Thank You. 

Vinaka Vakalevu

Dhanyavad. 

Opening Speech by Chair for launch of the Forum on Voter participation

Opening Speech by Electoral Commission Chairperson Mukesh Nand. 

30 March 2022 

Stakeholders Forum on Enhancing Voter Participation

Matua Conference Room at Grand Pacific Hotel

Bula Vinaka ladies and gentlemen

Welcome to the Forum on enhancing voter participation in Fiji. 

Today, I am keen to join you as we talk about this absolutely critical subject. A subject that delves on the creation of access, the creation of an environment that is enabling, creation of the opportunity as well as the creation of the desire to vote. 

Standing here in 2022, I would not want to start by defending the right to vote but instead, promote the right to vote that has been earned through years of struggle and hardship by many all around the world. Rather, in today’s age, one may even say it is being handed on a silver platter. Have we started to take it for granted? 

I find the words of Susan Anthony, a women’s rights activist in the early 20th century, as the most fitting to derive purpose to our discussions today. She said and I quote 

“Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.” 

unquote

Fiji, as we all know, has transitioned from a compulsory voting jurisdiction to one where voting is voluntary. This changes the dynamics significantly. Previously, if a person did not vote, they were subject to a fine and other penalties. This created a certain level of compellation for a person to go out and vote. Despite there being lesser number of polling stations, and numerous complications as reported about earlier elections, there remained a high percentage in terms of turnout.

The 2013 Constitution introduced Fiji to a new electoral system. Under this system, the voting age was reduced to 18 years. The ethnic based constituencies of the past were removed and the entire country was consolidated into a single national constituency. Election would now take place on a designated election day with pre-polling in remote areas instead of 7 days of voting as in the past. The 2014 Electoral Act made it a requirement that a voter can only vote where they are listed in the Voter List and not anywhere as was the case before. Voting was no longer compulsory. There are no fines for not voting.

The election in 2014 is termed a ‘transitional’ election and as is the trend in a transitional election, the turnout was very high, over 84%. Thereafter, the next election that followed was the 2018 General Election that saw a turnout of 72.9%. There is an election coming up in 2022 and it is prudent that we all, as a collective, review and organize ourselves so that we can drive the voluntary turnout to higher than 2018. This is the ideal desire as essential stakeholders gather today.

I have taken the liberty to read through the 2018 General Election Voter Turnout and Survey Reports. A quick look at the voter turnout data and one can already see the trends in Fiji comparable to other countries with voluntary voting. It is very encouraging to note that more women voted in the last election compared to men. I am particularly worried about the lower turnout in the 18-30 year old population range. 

Furthermore, I found the responses to the post election survey on the question “how much interest do you have in politics?” to be even more fascinating. In 2020, when the survey was done, 21.62% percent of the respondents had no interest in politics. When the same question was asked in 2022 during the pre-election survey, the number had changed to 26%. These numbers may seem quite subtle, but they give this forum today a crucial lead in terms of the work that lies ahead for all of us.

Ladies and gentlemen, in this room here today, we all must put aside our political proclivities and work towards achieving a common goal. The work we do here today may not be recorded with the glamourous pen in our history books but it will certainly join millions of battles fought in the background that shaped the future of our country.

I am advised that the forum is being attended by political parties, members of the civil society, youths, the team from the Fijian Elections Office, academia as well as interested individuals who applied through an expression of interest. This is a very good mix for us to start the discussion. I would like to commend the Supervisor of Elections for coming up with the idea. 

The Electoral Commission is responsible for the conduct of free and fair elections in accordance with the laws and we will work hard to ensure that the 2022 General Election becomes the platform where all Fijians can vote with confidence, security and freedom.

I end with the powerful words of former US President, Barrack Obama. He said and I quote:

“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters.”

Thank You. 

Vinaka Vakalevu

Dhanyavad.