21 May 2014

NFP questions Fiji polling booth staffing

11:03 am on 21 May 2014

The National Federation Party in Fiji says the decision to recruit members of the public as presiding officers at the polling booths in September's election is a waste of resources.

Its leader, Biman Prasad, says every general election since 1972 has seen civil servants, who are not allowed to support a political party, managing the polling stations.

He says Fiji has 14,000 civil servants who can work as presiding officers on the day, and given the short timeframe until elections, hiring members of the public is unusual.

"They don't have to go through this process of recruitment and hiring and interviewing and meeting the criteria, because you know, the public servants are there. We are simply saying don't create unnecessary work, don't create unnecessary logistics, when you already have so much to do."

Biman Prasad says one criteria for those wishing to work at the polling stations is that they are politically neutral.

But he says the 80,000 people who have signed up to become registered voters cannot be seen as apolitical.