Electoral Commission Chairperson Speech

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

Mr Mukesh Nand

Official handover of Braille materials from US Chargé d’Affaires

06 July 2022

FEO Conference Room @10am


US Chargé d’Affaires, Tony Grubel,

Representatives from the Elections Disability Access Working Group (EDAWG)

Director of the Human Rights and Social Development Division of SPC, Miles Young,

Distinguished invited guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen. 

This morning I start by repeating 2 pertinent preamble statements from the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. From an electoral perspective these statements encompass the spirit of the convention for election management bodies:

(n) Recognizing the importance for persons with disabilities of their individual autonomy and independence, including the freedom to make their own choices, 

(o) Considering that persons with disabilities should have the opportunity to be actively involved in decision-making processes about policies and programmes, including those directly concerning them

Today’s event is yet another step towards building electoral processes in Fiji that are inclusive and promote greater access and participation. Since 2014, the Fijian Elections Office has taken direct initiatives to work with Disabled Persons Organizations and other institutions that have expertise in this area. The outcomes of such collaboration does not get mentioned in everyday conversations but they truly are significant.

The Electoral Commission’s vision for the 2022 General Election is to create a platform for all Fijians to exercise their rights with confidence, security and freedom.  I draw your reference to section 43 (4) of the Electoral Act which requires that:

The facilities provided at a Polling Station where practicable must be reasonable equipped and designed to enable persons with disabilities or other special needs to cast their vote.

This morning, we received 2100 copies of ‘Assisted voting steps -the easy to read guide for the General Election’ in Braille and another such guide that is designed to enable persons with disabilities to participate in the election on their own. These materials will allow them to understand the electoral process better and participate effectively.

I take this opportunity to thank all the agencies that participated in this critical exercise and I thank the donor agencies that saw value in this essential project.  

I wish to conclude by highlighting section 42 of the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji on the rights of persons with disabilities:

A person with any disability has the right— 

(a) to reasonable access to all places, public transport and information; 

(b) to use sign language, Braille or other appropriate means of communication; and 

(c) to reasonable access to necessary materials, substances and devices relating to the person’s disability.

While today’s event marks our small steps towards facilitating the above Constitutional Rights, I am sure it will have a big impact on the ultimate participation and ownership in Fiji’s electoral processes.

Thank you and vinaka vakalevu. 

Statement by EC Chairperson

Electoral Commission Chairperson

Mr Mukesh Nand

Vehicle Handover @ FEO Warehouse 

30 June 2022


The High Commissioner of India, 

Supervisor of Elections,

Distinguished invited guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.


Bula Vinaka to you all.

First and foremost, I must thank the people and the Government of India for stepping up to assist the Electoral Commission[‘EC’] and the Fijian Elections Office[‘FEO’] by donating four (4) Mahindra Double Cab Vans today.

As you know this is a very important year not only for the nation but also for the Commission and the FEO as we prepare for the 2022 General Election.

An election poses to be the largest logistics exercise that any country would conduct and such a massive operation must always be supported by the presence of logistics equipment such as vehicles for transport.  

Considering the effort that is required to conduct an election in a day as well as the requirements for the logistics for the FEO, such an important gesture by the Indian Government will go a long way in facilitating the requirements of elections. 

The EC and the FEO have always been positively assisted by the Government of India and these holds true with our collaboration in the 2014 and 2018 General Elections with the assistance of vehicles.

These vehicles I assure to His Excellency, the High Commissioner, will be put to good use and will definitely be an important part of the logistical exercise for the 2022 General Election.  

Indeed, we are very thankful to the Indian Government and the Indian High Commission for their support and assistance and we look forward to your continued participation in our future events. 

Ladies and gentlemen, the EC and the FEO have accomplished nearly all the election readiness tasks and processes. We are election ready. Today’s generous donation will contribute to cost effective delivery of elections this year. The polling venue directory is another significant milestone that signals the professional approach we are taking to conduct this election. 

I also thank the hardworking staff of the FEO who have been very diligent and patient in their readiness for the election and we commend them for the assistance they
provide to the voters and the general public.

With the assistance of our international partners and the support of our local stakeholders, we intend to make the 2022 General Election a platform for all Fijians to express their will with Confidence, Security and Freedom.

Thank you and vinaka vakalevu. 

Announcement on the Official Campaign Period

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.



Political Party Electoral Processes Workshop 

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.


Bonanza Draw

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

Statement by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission 

Launch of the Presiding Officers Training 

Tanoa Waterfront Hotel  



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 




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


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


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



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

Speech by Ms Kavita Raniga 


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