18 Aug 2014

Australian observer positive about Fiji polls

5:16 am on 18 August 2014

The leader of Australia's team of Fiji election observers, Peter Reith, says it is a positive step that Fiji can go to the polls for the first time since 2006.

Fiji has agreed to a 14-nation observer group, which will be jointly led by Australia, India, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

The mission is to see if voters comply with the terms of the electoral decree which the Fiji Law Society has said are in part unworkable.

Mr Reith, who is a former Australian cabinet member, says his team will try to ascertain if the will of the people of Fiji is expressed.

"It's simply to observe the process and then to report widely on what they have seen and what they think about it. And i think that is an important part of an election and that's the job we have been asked to do and that's what we are going to do. We are not going to try to do any more."

Peter Reith says an office for the mission is being set up now.

New Zealand is yet to say who will be sent.