11 Jul 2011

Privacy concerns raised over Fiji electronic voter registration plans

1:25 pm on 11 July 2011

The Australia-based Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement is raising privacy concerns over Fiji's plan to have an electronic voter registration system in place for elections planned for 2014.

According to the interim attorney general, voter registration is to become electronic, with fingerprints and photographs captured, in an effort to speed up the voting process and eliminate cheating, as well as to reduce costs.

But Usaia Waqatairewa of the Freedom Movement says any reform of the electoral system needs to be made under an elected government.

"Privacy of the people (is) again being eroded, as they try and put photographs and force people to put their fingerprints on. We never know, it could easily be tampered by people, or even be manipulated by the government. Will they have neutral observers, ensuring that the machines are working properly? Fiji constantly suffers from electrical blackouts, is it going to really work? Do we really need that for a small place?"

Usaia Waqatairewa says he is calling on Fijians living overseas to be united in voicing their opposition.