25 Jan 2017

Call to reconstitute Fiji electoral commission

1:36 pm on 25 January 2017

The leader of a Fiji opposition party says he's concerned at the delay in appointing a new electoral commission.

The leader of Fiji's National Federation Party, Biman Prasad.

The leader of Fiji's National Federation Party, Biman Prasad. Photo: RNZI/Alex Perrottet

The three-year term of the last commission ended on 9 January, and an oversight body chaired by the prime minister, the Constitutional Offices Commission, was supposed to appoint a new commission by that time.

But leader of the National Federation Party Biman Prasad said that hadn't happened, which was concerning when preparations for next year's elections were already underway.

Mr Prasad said this meant the supervisor of elections was preparing for the elections without anyone to report to.

"The term of the commission and the chairman ended on the 9th of January, so that means that there are no longer commissioners and that there is no longer an electoral commission in place and that's serious because it's a constitutional office. It shouldn't be allowed to remain vacant but this is exactly what has happened."

He said it was imperative that the chair of the Constitutional Offices Commission, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, call a meeting to appoint an electoral commission.

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