1 Apr 2014

Fiji CCF confident about Electoral Decree

3:15 pm on 1 April 2014

The Citizens Constitutional Forum in Fiji says an Electoral Decree provision, which restricts NGOs from engaging in any election campaign, does not apply to it.

Section 115 says it is unlawful for any group receiving foreign aid to participate in any campaigning, which includes organising debates, public forums, meetings, interviews, panel discussions or publishing any material related to the election.

But the Forum's head, Akuila Yabaki, says the section is not applicable to its role as a pro-democracy movement which is not aligned to any political party.

The Reverend Yabaki says the CCF's work is not campaigning because all parties have benefited equally from it.

"We do engage creatively with all stakeholders by providing critical and alternative comments on matters of importance to members of the public. We do not regard this as a role which would be seen as campaign activities. We do not think that section 115 of the Electoral Decree is applicable to our role."

Akuila Yabaki says the CCF will continue to distribute its booklets on the analysis of the constitution.

But he says it will be looking to get legal advice on how the word 'campaign' could be interpreted.