Playing the devils advocate. We must change the decree to avoid “Poll Blocking”

 

Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem said: “No time limit will be given to voters to cast their vote. We are not going to pressure anybody to quickly vote.”

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The electoral decree needs to be modified to give the Supervisor of the polling booth the ability to put a sensible time limit on voting to avoid “Poll Blocking”.

Poll Blocking has been used as a weapon to negate  elections  in  South America. It is simply going into a booth to vote and staying there all day obstenstiouly trying to make up your mind. This would only require ten people, in a ten booth polling station, to stop the whole area voting.

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Politicians to have only two weeks to promote their number before the election.

Take your time to vote: Saneem

Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem.

National Candidate List by August 25
ROSI DOVIVERATA
Suva
Voters will not be pressured to quickly cast their vote on voting day.
Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem said: “No time limit will be given to voters to cast their vote. We are not going to pressure anybody to quickly vote.”
The same applies for voters who will vote in advance of the polling day – pre-polling and postal.
On September 17, as voters entered their assigned polling stations, they will be given a fresh booklet of the candidate list, Mr Saneem said.
The candidate list – where each candidate running for a seat in Parliament is assigned a number, would be made public at least two weeks before September 17.
Mr Saneem said the booklet will come in B5 size (half of A4).
The onus, Mr Saneem said, would be on the candidates to promote their assigned numbers to voters.
He said their priority was the distribution of the candidate list on polling day.
Meanwhile, the ballot boxes that will be used in the general election are of international standard.
“These are United Nations standard ballot boxes and they are transparent,” Mr Saneem said.
“In the 2006 general elections, the ballot boxes were sealed with tapes and the problem with tapes is that with Fiji’s high terrain, they can lose grip or tear off.
“But for the 2014 general elections, we’ll be using tags. These are uniquely numbered tags,” he said.
“Each ballot box has six tags that will be used – after the tags are placed, the additional security feature in the 2014 general election is that the polling station kit is going to contain seals.”
Mr Saneem said there would be no spare seals given to any polling station or presiding officer.
“They (presiding officers) have to account for all the seals. This avoids the opportunity for any person to open the ballot box and insert any paper in the ballot box and then replace the seal.”
rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

Lack of GCC means Native Land disputes have nowhere to go.

NLC records can’t be changed

Maika bolatiki
suva
Records in the Native Lands Commission (NLC) cannot be changed says the Deputy Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Colonel Apakuki Kurusiga.
Colonel Kurusiga was replying to queries by the Fiji Sun regarding claimants of chiefly titles who were disputing the NLC records.
“No one can dispute the records in the NLC,” he said.
He said all information in the NLC were sworn statements taken from elders around the country.
Colonel Kurusiga said in any traditional dispute the NLC had all the answers however they would only intervene when requested.
Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

“The public debt becomes unsustainable,” Ms Deo said yesterday.

Public must query public debt, finance

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

IT is important for Fijians to know what public debt is and what it means to the ordinary citizen, says independent candidate and ‘Be the Change Campaign’ leader Roshika Deo.

Ms Deo explained that public debt was the total amount of money that a government owed and usually an indication of how much money it’s borrowing to spend on public expenditure and finance.

“We should ensure that the amount of money and the rate of borrowing are sustainable and we are able to service the public debt.

“When we start incurring public debt to finance public consumption that only benefits the current generation, the public debt becomes unsustainable,” Ms Deo said yesterday.

She said members of the public should be aware of the national debt per capita because when this increased, the likelihood of the government defaulting on its debt meant service obligation increased as well.

“The amount of tax revenue available to spend on other governmental services is reduced because more tax revenue will be used to pay interest on the public debt.

“This will result in people having a lower standard of living.

“It can also force people to pay more for goods and services, resulting in inflation.

“When the risk increases of our country defaulting on its public debt service obligation, our country potentially risks our social, economic and political power,” she added.

Ms Deo said as taxpayers, people should be asking and receiving information on how much the public debt of the country actually was, what the borrowed money was being used for, the terms and conditions of this debt, and most importantly how it would be serviced.

Bainimarama scratching for 5000 registered voters?

Bainimarama defers registration

April 21, 2014 02:46:23 PM

Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will not register his proposed FijiFirst party tomorrow as initially planned.

Confirming the news to FijiLive, he said he was still compiling his list of required signatures.

He needs 5000 signatures to register his proposed party – 2,000 from the central division, 1,750 from the western division, 1,000 from the northern division and a 250 from the eastern division.

Bainimarama stated he was “still consolidating list of registered names and awaiting for forms from the islands.”

“Locally more people want to sign up so we have allowed for more time,” he said.

Bainimarama had earlier revealed to the people of Vanuavatu in Lau during one of his visits that he would register his proposed party on May 22.

Fiji’s minister responsible for the elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is behind fijifirst.com?

Fiji election minister acquires Fiji First internet domain

Updated at 4:04 am today

Fiji’s minister responsible for the elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has acquired the internet domain name fijifirst.com.

Fiji First is also the name of the party which the prime minister, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimamara, has proposed to register this month.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum re-registered the internet domain name in January – just days after the regime leader announced that he would end his military career to contest the election promised for September.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, who is also the attorney general, is not expected to stand.

Last week, Rear Admiral Bainimarama said he was his party’s only confirmed candidate after last month naming the women’s affairs minister, Jiko Luveni, as his proposed party’s first candidate.

Rear Admiral Bainimarama is under police investigation for repeated breaches of regime decrees and a law in connection for his political campaign.

Should he be convicted, he could be disqualified from the poll and risk a jail sentence.

Electoral Decree grants blanket immunity to election officials even if they rig the election.

Fiji Labour Party says regime decree shields vote-riggers

Updated at 4:04 am today

Fiji’s Labour Party says there is no chance of free and fair elections under a decree that could protect vote riggers.

The party’s president, Lavinia Padarath, says that Section 3 (3) of the Electoral Decree grants blanket immunity to election officials for their work or omissions.

Ms Padarath says this signifies that if vote rigging were to take place, no one could be prosecuted.

“This has been the kind of constant practice throughout, what the government does. They usually run ahead, create a section of the decree and they will be the first ones to break them. Or, in this instance, it’s made to suit them.”

Lavinia Padarath says the Electoral Commission and the young and inexperienced supervisor, Mohammed Saneem, appear to be accepting such provisions.