21 May 2007

Fiji's ousted elections chief opposes electronic voting

10:53 am on 21 May 2007

Fiji's ousted supervisor of elections, Semesa Karavaki, is opposing the planned introduction of electronic voting machines by the interim administration.

Mr Karavaki has told the Fiji Times there is no need for the machines yet because as it is, voters do not understand the current electoral system.

While visiting New Delhi last week, the interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, asked for Indian government assistance with the next elections including electronic voting machines.

Mr Karavaki says while these machines can ensure the validity of votes and speed up the time required to declare results, the maintenance of the machines would be costly and there would have to be widespread voter education all across Fiji.

He says Fiji should just use the current system as it does not need such machines to complicate matters.

But the head of the Prime Minister's Office, Parmesh Chand, says the interim administration plans to introduce the system only after a proper assessment of its advantages and disadvantages.

Mr Chand says the interim administration is seriously looking at the introduction of a new voting system.