11 Apr 2011

Observer says Fiji can learn from Indonesia's mixed report card on elections

7:30 pm on 11 April 2011

A long-time observer of Indonesian elections Richard Chauvel says Indonesia has a mixed report card on democratisation and there's much Fiji can learn from its experience.

The Fiji interim leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has been taking notes on Indonesia's electoral system during a meeting with the Indonesian Election Commission.

The regime has promised elections in 2014.

Dr Chauvel says Indonesia's early experience was an example of how government's can manipulate electoral outcomes.

He says since 1999 its record has improved but the Commission's independence remains an issue.

"Looking at it in its most positive light Fiji and other countries can learn from Indonesia just how difficult it is to establish the processes and management for holding truly independent, fair and free elections."

Dr Richard Chauvel.