24 Oct 2005

Fiji municipal elections marred by problems

8:33 am on 24 October 2005

Local government elections in 11 out of 12 municipalities in Fiji over the weekend have been marred by a range of problems.

They included many people's names being missing from electoral rolls, a low voter turnout almost everywhere and people impersonating others and voting in their place.

Major political parties did badly in smaller towns like Savusavu, Nausori, Levuka and Tavua where local ratepayers and citizens associations retained control.

But in Lami the ratepayers association lost its long dominance to the SDL party which won 11 of the 12 seats.

The National Federation Party won the Ba and Nadi elections and also Sigatoka in a coalition with the SDL.

The Labour Party won the Nasinu and Labasa polls and half of the seats in Lautoka.

It now has to win just one of the 4 seats in one Lautoka ward where elections were postponed to win control again.

Polling in the capital Suva has been put off for three weeks because two candidates died just ahead of the polls.