7 Jun 2007

Assessment team says Fiji elections possible next year

7:05 pm on 7 June 2007

A technical assessment has concluded that Fiji could hold elections as soon as November next year.

The assessment was conducted on behalf of the Joint Working Group set up by the Pacific Islands Forum and the Fiji interim government.

The Group was asked in April by Forum foreign ministers to assess how soon a vote could be held amid claims by the interim government that it would not be able to hold elections before 2010.

An electoral expert, Dr Paul Harris, who was part of the assessment team, says as a first step, a the census is due in September.

"Because after that the boundaries of most of the constituencies can be redrawn to redress the current imbalances that exist between the populations in the various constituencies. Now that process is going to take several months following which a voter registration update can be held."

Dr Paul Harris.

The government elected in May last year was overthrown in a coup in December.