Australia welcomes Fiji election date announcement

2014-04-02 03:08:02 | Al Muslim News
Australia welcomes Fiji election date announcement


The Fiji Government’s announcement that it will hold elections on 17 September is a welcome development. Fiji has also taken important steps towards elections by issuing an Electoral Decree and appointing a Supervisor of Elections. It is also pleasing to receive Fiji’s invitation for Australia to observe Fiji’s elections and we look forward to discussions on next steps. It will be important for the people of Fiji to participate in an open and inclusive debate on the future of their country. We look to the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor in administering the decree to build confidence in the election process including through voter education, encouraging vibrant public discussion and outreach to political parties over the coming months. Coming after my visit to Fiji in February to meet Prime Minister Bainimarama and begin the process of normalising relations, I confirm that, at the request of Fiji, Australia will provide additional support through funding two Australian experts to work in key positions in the Fijian Elections Office as the Deputy Supervisor of Elections and the Director of Operations. This will build on the significant role Australia is already playing in supporting Fiji’s electoral preparations and its return to parliamentary democracy..

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