Fijian ballot papers run out as confusion reigns
UPDATED 11.28am: Fiji’s unusual voting system has already thrown up problems ahead of tomorrow’s elections.
For the first time there are no names or party logos on the ballot paper – instead, people will be voting for numbers delegated to candidates.
Humm FM journalist Dev Sachindra says this has caused confusion at pre-polls.
“Because of the confusion, what has happened is they’ve run out of ballot papers in certain polling stations.
“While crossing and ticking and circling, a number of voters did make a lot of mistakes and had to ask for a new ballot paper.”
Bainimarama under fire
Meanwhile, Fiji’s self-appointed Prime Minister’s being accused of breaching his own election rules.
A strict ban on political advertising and media coverage is now in place ahead of tomorrow’s election, with rule breakers facing up to five years jail time.
Humm FM journalist Dev Sachindra says while other political parties have been busy removing all traces of campaigning, many large billboards of Frank Bainimarama’s face, erected before the election, remain standing.
“In a way, it defeats the purpose of having the blackout because there’s no standard rule for all political parties and candidates.”
Sachindra says a 77 percent turn out from people who often don’t have access to services like roads, is highly impressive.
He says the Fijian Electoral Office is calling it a sign of good things to come.
Sachindra says if the voter turn out is high from the rural people, they’re confident it’s going to be even better on Wednesday.