Fiji’s National Federation Party is hopeful the Electoral Commisson will see to the amendment of the Electoral Decree at the earliest possible time, particularly “restrictive provisions” to ensure free and fair elections.
“We have raised this with the Electoral Commission where we have told them very clearly certain provisions like section 115 of the Electoral Decree,” Party president Professor Biman Prasad said.
“We have asked the Electoral Commission to change that. There is still time to change some of the restrictive provisions of the Electoral Decree. The second thing we raised with the commission is in relation to the voting system – the ballot paper itself which we believe will confuse voters.”
Fiji’s Electoral Commission chairman Chen Bunn Young was quoted in a media report saying they will be seeking independent legal opinion on several provisions of the Electoral Decree.
The announcement has been welcomed by the NFP leader who remains hopeful that the Electoral Commission will “take the views that have been expressed by the political parties seriously.”
* Section 115 of the Electoral Decree prohibits persons and/or organisations that receive funding or assistance from a foreign government, inter-governmental or non-governmental organisation or multilateral agency to carry out any election-related campaign including organising debates, public forum, meetings, interviews, panel discussions or publishing any material that is related to the election or any election issue.
*A fine not exceeding $50,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both are applicable for breach of this provision.