4 Apr 2006

Fiji election officials say apathy to blame for names missing from roll

6:35 pm on 4 April 2006

Election officials in Fiji have dismissed claims that 10 thousand eligible voters can't participate in next month's general election because of mismanagement.

Voting is compulsory under Fiji law, but the voters are unregistered and unable to participate.

The Opposition Labour party claims the Supervisor of Elections, Semesa Karavaki, and the Electoral Commission, mishandled the registration process.

But Mr Karavaki says it was a success, with 95 per cent of the estimated 475 thousand eligible voters registering before closing day.

He says people simply didn't bother to register.

"The people are just not coming forward. Unfortunately there's no way in the world where the election officials will trace down every individual voter and make sure they are registered and have a 100 per cent registration. There's no way in the world that that can be achieved."

He says those who have not registered can't be identified by the authorities and no action can be taken against them.