16 Feb 2007

Fiji interim administration to end race based voting system

10:02 am on 16 February 2007

Fiji's interim administration is to examine ways of eliminating race based voting from the country's electoral system before general elections are held.

This has been announced by the interim prime minister and military commander, Commodore Bainimarama.

Commodore Bainimarama says while the interim administration is aware that the Electoral Act can only be changed by parliament, it is important to ensure that Fiji does not vote along racial lines.

He says he is duty bound by President Iloilo's mandate to the interim administration that truly democratic elections are held.

He also says clear guidelines need to be set for the candidates who contest general elections including a code of conduct for them and declaration of their interests.

A special meeting of the interim cabinet will be held next week to draw up a time frame for general elections to be held.

Commodore Bainimarama is stressing a census be held and the voting period and vote counting system be streamlined before the elections.