4 Apr 2014

Fiji Electoral Decree makes it difficult for independents - Law Soc

4:49 am on 4 April 2014

The Fiji Law Society says the Electoral Decree makes it difficult for independent candidates to run in September's elections, limiting the country's scope for a participatory democracy.

The Decree says the nomination of an independent candidate is not valid unless it is accompanied by 1,000 registered voter signatures, containing their addresses, occupations and voter numbers.

It also states independents must deposit 540 US dollars to the elections supervisor.

The Law Society president, Dorsami Naidu, says these conditions will deter people from getting involved.

"It's not a participatory democracy. It doesn't give people the right to air their views. It just makes it so much harder for anyone really to get involved in the electoral process and get involved in the government we may have."

Dorsami Naidu says the government should have called for submissions from political parties and individuals before putting the decree in place.