22 Aug 2005

Fiji audits finds large voting abstinence

3:54 pm on 22 August 2005

Fiji's auditor general has revealed that large numbers have failed to vote in the country's last two general elections, despite voting being compulsory.

Radio Legend reports that more than 152,000 people did not vote in the 1999 general election and the figure climbed to more than 194,000 in the post coup 2001 election.

Over 20,000 did not vote in several by-elections.

Voting in the two general elections was compulsory under the 1997 Constitution.

The election rules also provide for a fine of 12 US dollars for those who fail to vote without a valid reason.

The auditor general, Eroni Vatuleka, has urged the Elections Office to follow regulations and collect more than 4.4 million US dollars owed in fines by those who did not vote.