Welcome to the 2018 GENERAL ELECTION. To help me read out words on the site you will need to highlight text and click on the speaker icon. Allternatively, you may click on the listen button.   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to the 2018 GENERAL ELECTION. To help me read out words on the site you will need to highlight text and click on the speaker icon. Allternatively, you may click on the listen button.

Electoral Commission receives vehicle from Government of India

07/06/18

 

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                       

Electoral Commission receives vehicle from Government of India

Indian High Commissioner, Mr Vishvas Sapkal with The Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mr Suresh Chandra at the Vehicle handover ceremony

The Electoral Commission this morning received a vehicle donated by the Indian Government through the Indian High Commission.

In taking delivery of the vehicle, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mr Suresh Chandra told the Indian High Commissioner, Mr Vishvas Sapkal, that it would boost their preparations for the 2018 General Election.

“An election poses to be the largest logistics exercise that any country would conduct in peace time,” Mr Chandra said.

“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 of the Electoral Commission in travelling to and from other engagements, such an important gesture by the Indian Government will go a long way in facilitating the requirements of elections.”

Mr Sapkal informed Mr Chandra that the Government of India intends to further furnish the Electoral Commission with four more vehicles.

Mr Chandra said commended the effort of the High Commission of India for strengthening relations between the Government of India and Electoral Commission and the Fijian Elections Office.

“With the assistance of the our international partners and the support of our local stakeholders, we intend to make the 2018 General Election a platform for all Fijians to express their will with Confidence, Security and Freedom,” he said.

The Indian High Commission earlier donated indelible ink to the FEO for use in the 2018 General Election.

-Ends-

Updated Voter Roll Statistics

Statement by Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

Updated Voter Roll Statistics

FEO HQ Conference Room- 06/06/18-11.00am

Bula Vinaka ladies and gentlemen of the media and welcome to the Fijian Elections Office [FEO].

Ladies and gentlemen, after a thorough verification and adjudication process, the FEO has finalised the Voter Roll as at 31st May, 2018.

We have a total of 636,764 registered voters and the breakdown is as follows:

In the Central Division, there are 265,745 registered voters;

In the Eastern Division, we have recorded 26,006 registered voters;

From the Western Division, the FEO has registered 243,569 Voters; and

From the Northern Division, the number of registered voters stand at 94,954.

There are 7490 voters who have registered overseas and would be eligible to cast their vote via postal ballot.

Of the total number of voters, 67,829 will be voting via pre-poll, and 568,943 are Election Day voters.

Data March 2017 25 July 2017
Male 307,526 313,453
Female 298,471 303,137
Total Registered 605,997 616,590

On 26th July, 2017, the Central Division had 258, 849 voters, Western Division had 230,058, the Northern Division had 94, 577 and the Eastern Division had 26, 836 voters.

Ladies and gentlemen, our current tally of registered voters represents a 7.17 percent increase from 2014 General Election when we had 591,101 registered voters.

The FEO has noted a gradual, annual increase in voters over the last 4 years.

The increase in registered voters can be attributed to the annual Voter Registration Drive for Schools, the opening of Voter Services Centres around Fiji, and requests for voter registration from businesses and government entities.

One of the largest contributors has the recent Know Your Election campaign from March to April 2018 where we sent teams to all villages and communities to register voters.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Voters Roll is still available at our various Voter Service Centres around the country.

We are encouraging voters to check their details on the Voter Roll and to inform us if any of the details are incorrect so that we may make necessary amendments before the 2018 General Election.

The update of the Voter Roll isn’t just about checking the number of Fijians registered to vote – it is a meticulous exercise to account for every individual captured in the National Register of Voters.

One of the processes in ensuring that a clean and updated voter roll is maintained, is the verification and removal of deceased voters which is a legislative requirement under the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act.

Deceased voters are only removed upon confirmation from the next of kin. This may limit the removal of deceased persons depending on consistency of information provided from the Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) Department.

Therefore, we are requesting family members, friends or members of communities to please inform us if there is someone on the voter roll who has passed away and should be removed.

This would greatly assist the FEO in ensuring that we capture the correct number of voters expected to turn up to cast their vote on Election Day.

The number of deceased voters indicated by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Department since 2012 is 38,519 and we matched 9,307 with our EVR data.

So far, we have removed a total of 13,380 deceased voters from the roll including 3,681 in 2018.

We do not want to remove people without getting confirmation from family members or the next of kin.

Having deceased voters on the Roll will also impact our voter turnout statistics as they will be counted in the percentage that would not have voted.

The FEO has a Confirmation of Deceased Voter Form available at all our Voter Services Centres Fiji wide, so we have made it simple for individuals to provide this vital information to us.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you would be aware, the registration of voters will cease on the day that the Writ of Election is issued.

Therefore eligible Fijians who still have not registered can still register.

Our Voter Services Centres around Fiji will continue to provide this service until such time as when the Writ is issued.

The Fijian Elections Office is also finalising logistics around the Overseas Voter Registration Drive which begins on the 15th of this month.

We are still receiving Expressions of Interest from eligible Fijians who wish to register for the 2018 General Election.

This may very well be the last opportunity that the FEO has to register voters overseas and so we encourage interested persons to get in touch with our office at the earliest.

Ladies and gentlemen, this Voter Roll is not final as the Fijian Elections Office will continue adjudication and verification of the Voter Roll until the Writ for the 2018 General Election is issued and that is when the National Register of Voters must be finalised.

Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu.

2018 Overseas Voter Registration Drive

Statement by the Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

2018 Overseas Voter Registration Drive

FEO HQ – 21 May, 2018

The Supervisor of Elections, Mr Mohammed Saneem

Ni sa Bula Vinaka and a very warm welcome to the Fijian Elections Office Ladies and Gentlemen.

The Fijian Elections Office [FEO] plans to embark on another Overseas Voter Registration [OVR] Drive in June as part of our continuing preparations for the 2018 General Election.

This is possible due to the continuing calendar of Parliament which has presented the FEO with an opportunity to engage in this round of overseas voter registrations and conduct awareness for our voters overseas.

Currently, our OVR teams are being planned to visit Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America between the 15th and the 30th of June 2018.

We have once again requested the assistance of the Fiji Missions in the respective countries through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help in reaching out to the Fijian communities in these countries to help us identify locations where there is a demand for voter services.

Individuals/communities community reps can also directly contact EVR Coordinator Litia Sema on litia.sema@feo.org.fj and +679 9002292 to register their interest.

The mandatory requirement to achieve registration is production of a valid Fiji Passport.

The FEO will also accept Certificate of Citizenship for registration for those who may not have received their Fiji Passport yet.

During the last overseas registration drive, our teams managed to provide services to 2900 voters overseas including 696 new registrations.

Voters registered overseas will only be able to vote through postal voting in the 2018 General Election.

Vinaka Vakalevu.

 

 

Statement by the Deputy Supervisor of Elections – Indelible Ink Handover

Statement by the Deputy Supervisor of Elections

Ms Karyl Winter
Indelible Ink Handover
FEO Warehouse – 10 May, 2018

Ni sa Bula Vinaka and a very warm welcome to this handover ceremony this morning ladies and gentlemen.

As you all know that the General Election will be held later this year and we at the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] are doing everything we can to ensure that our preparations are up to par.

Ladiesand gentlemen, this handover ceremony ispart of our readiness and we are very thankful to the Indian Government and the Indian High Commission for their assistance in providing us with indelible ink.

Indelible ink also known as electoral ink, phosphoric ink is a semi-permanent ink that is applied to the index finger or little finger on the left hand of voters during elections in a bid to prevent electoral fraud such as double voting.

Indelible ink is made of a chemical compound called silver nitrate. When applied to the skin and exposed to ultraviolet light, it leaves a mark that is almost impossible to wash off.

Our Polling Day Workers check the fingers of voters before they walk into the Polling Station on Election Day and if they are found to have their fingers marked already, they would be requested to leave as it would mean they have already voted.

Ladies and gentlemen, those voters whose fingers do not have any marks on their fingers are allowed to enter the polling station where their ID and details will be checked and they will be issued with a ballot paper.

They will proceed to a cardboard voting screen where they will mark their ballot paper and then move on to the next station where the inking official will mark the index finger or little finger of the voter by dipping it in the ink bottle.

After that, the voter will drop his/her marked ballot paper in the ballot box and exit the polling station.

That is basically a run through of a polling station and how the indelible ink will be used on the day of election.

Ladies and gentlemen those voters who cast their ballot through pre-poll will also have their fingers marked after they have placed their marked ballot paper inside the secret envelope.

Having such measures as the indelible ink to ensure there is no double voting is essential as it puts faith in the system we have that there will be no room for rigging or manipulation of the system.

 

The mark on the voters finger is a matter of pride for the voter as a voter discharged his/her responsibility to the nation and to themselves for the next four years.

Every voter should carry the indelible ink marked finger with national pride as it is a sign of loyalty and patriotism.

Ladies and gentlemen, an election is not only about politicians and political parties campaigning against each other to form a government but it is more about instilling national pride and ownership every person who marks a vote on Election Day demonstrates their love affection and ownership to a country in which they live in.

Indelible Ink used in the Fijian electoral process acts as a confirmation of a vote but on the flip side allows the FEO and the political parties to verify and ensure that a person only votes once in our election.

This is critical considering every polling place caters for a maximum of 500 voters.

As highlighted in previous observer reports, we would like to ensure that there is no double voting or turn out in excess of registered voters at a polling venue.

Ladies and gentlemen, Fijian elections stands at a point where there is very high levels of reconciliation and accountability at both polling station level and national level and this gives voters the added security and confidence in the electoral system.

The FEO has benefitted widely from trainings and capacity building programs as well as invites to various international forums conducted in India and the assistance through provision of Indelible Ink, for which India is renowned for, is highly appreciated.

With those few words ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your attendance here today.

Vinaka Vakalevu.

Political Funding

Statement by the Supervisor of Elections

Mr Mohammed Saneem

Political Funding

3pm – FEO HQ – Suva

Supervisor of Elections during the Political Party Funding Press Conference

Bula Vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen and thank you very much for accepting our invitation.

As we are all aware, 2018 is Election year and as we progress towards the General Election, the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] is noting an increased number of announcements by Political Parties as well as expressions by individuals in the interest of taking up candidate positions in the Election.

We would like to make it clear that until and unless the Writ is issued and Nominations are received, no one is a Fijian Elections Office approved candidate. We have noted that various Parties have advertised provisional candidates, however I would like to clarify that there’s no such thing as an official provisional candidate in the law.

Nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen, following the announcement of various persons, various Parties are now picking up in terms of their funding raising activities and it is the Fijian Elections Office responsibility to highlight to the general public as well as interested persons and Parties the rules and the legal framework around Political Funding.

It is important to highlight at this point that following the General Audit of all Political Parties by the Office of the Auditor General, a common feature in reports for most of the Parties is that there is a lack of tracking in terms of records of revenue obtained by the Party.

This is because there are – at some occasions due to the nature of the Political Parties – monies received by individuals who are maybe provisional candidates as announced by the Parties, and as such they may receive money, carry out funding and not issue receipts from the Party or even themselves.

This is of course a problem when it comes to an individual because in one financial year, a person is only allowed to donate up to $10,000 to either one party or to many Parties up to a maximum of $10,000 only.

In that regard, if the person does not have receipts for monies donated, the individual may find themselves in some legal problems in the event the FEO receives a complaint, and is investigated.

Therefore, I will now read out the relevant provisions from the Political Parties Act to assist individuals, Party Agents, Party Officials and Political Parties themselves – in understanding the Political Funding framework so that the 2018 General Election in terms of political funding for them – is proper.

I would also like to mention that on page 12 [Section 3.2] of the Multinational Observer Group [MOG] Report, the MOG found that the Political Funding reporting requirements in Fiji were consistent with international best practice and therefore I urge all Parties, persons and individuals to comply with the relevant provisions regarding Political Funding and ensure that necessary declarations and disclosures are made as per the requirements of the law.

Thank you.

Fijian Elections Office extends Continuous Engagement Programme for Election Officials

The Fijian Elections Office [FEO] has extended the Continuous Engagement Programme for Election Officials to next week in light of the weather conditions.

All public venues for contract signing in the Central and Western Division have been temporarily closed and these services will now be based at our Divisional Offices at Vanua Arcade in Suva and at Bouwalu Street in Lautoka.

The public venues will also be closed until 09 May, 2018.
“The FEO has noted that the rainy weather is not conducive to the signing of contracts and handing over of manuals to Election Officials. For the safety of all persons, we have taken the decision to extend the Programme to next week by which time the weather is expected to improve,” says Director Corporate Services Mr Sanjeshwar Ram.

The programme will continue as scheduled in the Northern Division as no adverse weather has been reported.

“Because we are set up in public places, the rain could damage electronic equipment and is also an inconvenience to the general public. We will be back at the same locations from next Wednesday.

The Fijian Elections Office apologizes for any inconvenience caused.

-Ends-

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at communications@feo.org.fj

Supervisor of Elections conducts briefing for International Community

Supervisor of Elections conducts briefing for International Community

The Supervisor of Elections at the Diplomatic Briefing

The Supervisor of Elections Mr Mohammed Saneem this afternoon conducted the second round of briefings for the International community to update them on preparations for the 2018 General Election.

In attendance were representatives from all major Embassies, High Commissions and regional institutions in Fiji.

Apart from updates on election preparations, the Supervisor of Elections also briefed them on key projects that the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] is undertaking in relation the Election this year.

“Whilst the date is not known as yet, it’s important for the FEO to not only keep the voters informed but also our regional and international partners as to the progress Fiji is making towards the General Election”, said Mr Saneem.

The presentation also covered various aspects of the Multinational Observer Group’s 2014 recommendations and the manner in which the Fijian Elections Office has handled the said recommendations.

The Supervisor of Elections concluded the event by thanking the international community for their support to the Fijian Elections Office in capacity development and financial support and collaboration.

-Ends-

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at

communications@feo.org.fj

 

Election Officials Continuous Engagement Programme

Statement by Supervisor of Elections
Mr Mohammed Saneem
Election Officials Continuous Engagement Programme
Suva – 28th April 2018 – 11:00am

The Supervisor of Elections, Mr Mohammed Saneem

Bula vinaka members of the media and thank you for attending this media briefing.

For the past few weeks, the Fijian Elections Office has been engaged with the signing of contracts for Election Officials for the 2018 General Election.

At this stage, there are 5,681 Election Officials who have signed their contracts while 3,547 are left to sign. Persons who have not signed are urged to come over to our venues in the respective Divisions where your contracts are ready for signing.

We have come to a stage where the FEO is now able to activate our Election Officials Continuous Engagement Programme.
This is an effort to maintain our link and partnership with individuals who will be working on Election Day and in pre-polling.

From Wednesday, 2nd May until Saturday 5th May 2018, we will be providing 2018 General Election Manuals for Election Officials. These are the Presiding Officers Manual and the Polling Day Workers Manual.

These manuals are a vital resource for persons who will be working on Election Day to deliver the 2018 General Election. They contain the necessary instructions on what Election Officials are expected to do in their specific roles within the Polling Venues.

The manuals have been designed as a comprehensive guide on conducting polling, reconciliation of ballot papers and counting of votes at every polling venue.
We urge all Election Officials to read their manuals in their own time so that they don’t forget their training. You will also be able to brush up on your knowledge once the Election Date is announced.

We have published on our website and facebook pages – the list of venues for the Central, Western and Northern Division where Election Officials can collect their copies of the manual.

We will be based in all towns and cities in the two main islands while a team will be in Taveuni. Our staff will also set up in heavily populated areas such as Nakasi and Seaqaqa.

The Fijian Elections Office will also be providing Election Official Packages or Goodie Bags containing promotional items for the 2018 General Election.

Those who turn up to receive their packages will be eligible for an allowance of $15. This allowance is NOT deducted from your final pay.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Continuous Engagement Programme applies to all Election Officials who have signed their contracts.

In order to receive their packages, Election Officials must present a copy of their signed contracts to our teams.

For individuals who have been contacted by the FEO, but have not signed their contracts, this is the perfect opportunity to sign up and receive your Election Officials package. These persons will also be eligible for the $15 allowance.

We look forward to seeing our Election Officials at these venues.

Vinaka

FNA Uses Touch Screen Voting Machines

The Fijian Elections Office [FEO] today successfully conducted its first day of Trade Union Election on the recently acquired Touch Screen Voting Machines [TSV machines] through the Association of World Election Bodies [A-WEB].

The Fiji Nursing Association is the first union to utilize the machines.

The TSV machines were used at its Annual General Meeting held at Novotel, Lami today, in which 23 members of the Fiji Nursing Association cast their votes.

The FNA has a large membership which is distributed all over the country. 324 nurses have voted through post while the remaining made use of the Touch Screen Voting Machines at the meeting venue today.

Supervisor of Elections, Mr Mohammed Saneem said in terms of the analysis of the usage, the voting machines were simple to use.

“Whilst the Fijian Elections Office has noted that it will have to implement a more rigorous awareness and training exercise on the usage of the machines; the overall feedback from the voters was that it was easy and convenient.”

“The FEO will continue to use Electronic Voting Machines for Trade Union Elections in order to expose Fijians to more advanced means of voting and counting in Fiji,” he said.

Mr Saneem in recognizing the importance of today’s event mentioned that it was a step into the future and a hope that in due course Fiji would consider more introduction of electronics in elections.”

The 2018 General Election will NOT have any usage of Electronic Voting Machines.

The Fiji Nursing Association election concludes tomorrow.

 

-Ends-

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at communications@feo.org.fj

FEO conducts Postal Voting awareness for stakeholders

 Stakeholders and business houses are being invited to participate in postal voting awareness sessions by the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] in a bid to prepare them for the 2018 General Election.

FEO Director Operations, Anaseini Senimoli, said they approached service providers where staff – who are voters would benefit from postal voting services.

Business houses in various sectors which would be providing services on Election Day are the major targets as their employees might not be able to access their polling venue if they were working on the day of the elections.

“We had identified our stakeholders and divided them in the following sectors – Tourism Sector, Transport Sector, Emergency Services Sector, Security and Boarder Control Sector, Infrastructure and Utilities Sector and Business Sector,” she said.

Ms Senimoli said awareness was integral for employees and stakeholders in these sectors, as they may be working on Election Day and therefore are eligible for postal voting.

“This week, a total of 19 participants from 16 organisations turned up for the awareness session which included one from the Northern Division, seven from the Western Division, and 12 from the Central Division.”

“As part of the presentation, we informed participants on the grounds or eligibility criteria for postal voting as outlined in Section 67 (7) of the Electoral Act 2014, the postal voting process, how to fill out the postal voting application, important timelines such as opening and closing of applications and deadline of receiving postal ballots along with how we’re going to process their applications, packing, dispatching of postal packs and receiving of returned postal ballot papers.”

It is anticipated that staff who attend these awareness sessions will in turn convey the necessary information to their staff who may be working on Election Day and want to apply for Postal vote.

“We are planning to conduct similar sessions in the next couple of weeks as we are yet to invite other organisations.”

-Ends-

Please forward all media queries to the FEO Communications team at communications@feo.org.fj

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