Nasik Swami And Dawn Gibson
Saturday, April 12, 2014
THE September 17 general election will not go on unless the Fijian Elections Office registers and validates at least 50 candidates, said Elections Supervisor Mohammed Saneem during a media briefing in Suva yesterday.
Mr Saneem said nominations for the candidates had a comprehensive criteria under the Electoral Decree which the Elections Office would adhere to.
“Elections will be held if there are more than 50 valid nominations, so on the end of nomination on the 18th of August and maybe by the 22nd, if there are more than 50 candidates. Because after your nomination is accepted, you become a candidate,” he said.
“The nominations, in case you are wondering, will be determined in accordance with Section 23 (Electoral Decree) — it has a comprehensive criteria. We have to apply the criteria.”
Mr Saneem said apart from the candidates, registering voters remained an immediate priority for the Elections Office.
“Immediate priority in terms of voters is we need to encourage all of them to register and we need to get the correct addresses.
“We also will then have to assign them to the nearest polling stations and they can contact the Fijian Elections Office teams in May to sort that out for them,” he said.
Mr Saneem said it was necessary for registered voters to check that their names appear on the voter list.
“The provisional list of voters will come out towards the end of May or early June and that will give the voters first-hand result of where they’ll be voting.
“It is important for the voters to know that and then they come back to us to ask to change it and that will continue until the close of the voter list.”
He said once the voter list is out, the Elections Office will try to make it available to everyone.
“One of the ways in which the voter list can be made available is that if we are using schools as a venue, then we can hang the list in those venues, so curious school children are going to open the list to look for their parents.
“If they don’t find their parents’ name on the list in the school, they’ll go back and say “you’re not on the list”.
“So, our young will also play a very important part in our voter education exercise. So if you have children, please tell them today to watch out for this.”