30 Jul 2014

Fiji electoral commission not at public forum

6:58 am on 30 July 2014

A Fiji lawyer says the Electoral Commission should have attended a forum on the country's upcoming elections.

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Richard Naidu was one of a three-person panel fielding questions on free and fair elections at the first of a series of public meetings hosted by the Citizens Constitutional Forum and the University of the South Pacific.

The CCF says it received late notice no one would attend from the elections supervisory body.

Richard Naidu says it was in the public interest for the the commission to be represented.

"I think the Electoral Commission has made a reasonable fist of attempting to show independence. It ought to be here. It's an important forum for public education. How is it that the Electoral Commission could not spare even a staff member to turn up and contribute to what should be a healthy debate?"

A Fiji lawyer Richard Naidu.

Students, politicians, diplomats, and civil society members were among the audience which heard about international measures of democratic elections and Fiji's progress so far towards the first polls since the 2006 coup.