28 Apr 2014

Fiji NGO to work around Electoral Decree provision

4:30 am on 28 April 2014

Fiji Media Watch says it is important that non-governmental organisations continue to do their jobs despite limitations set out in the Electoral Decree.

The University of the South Pacific has cancelled its joint event with Media Watch on election reporting, as it is likely to be in breach of section 115.

That provision restricts any group receiving foreign funding from campaigning on election issues, which includes organising debates, panel discussions or meetings.

The director of Media Watch, Agatha Ferei, says it still plans to hold a workshop and a discussion on media freedom.

"The way we are handling this is respecting what we've got as a clause, and at the same time, trying to work the limitation and be able to carry out activities. That is still important, for organisations to continue to carry out activities that they have planned out to do."

Agatha Ferei is encouraging the public to attend USP's replacement panel discussion on press freedom and the election.

Section 115 does not restrict educational organisations.