Fiji elections chief briefs observers ready for tomorrow’s voting

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Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem
Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem . . . "no need to panic" over a fire that hit a school scheduled as a polling centre. Image: Koroi Hawkins/RNZ Pacific

RNZ Pacific

Observers of the Fiji election have been briefed by the Supervisor of Elections ahead of polling, which begins tomorrow.

Mohammed Saneem took the observers through a comprehensive presentation on the elections process as well as the preparations of the Fijian Elections Office leading up to the issue of writs in late October.

Saneem said the observers will be deployed from today to various parts of the country where they will be observing electoral processes on the day of polling.

FIJI ELECTIONS 2022
FIJI ELECTIONS 2022

He said it was appropriate to introduce the observers to the election so that they have contextual knowledge, cultural familiarity and understanding of election processes as well as the efforts undertaken in the preparation.

The Fijian Elections Office accredited 97 observers from 16 countries, including two regional organisations.

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the Multinational Observer Group was an important initiative to support the people of Fiji and the international community to have confidence in the election outcome.

Fire damages polling venue
Saneem said his office would release information tonight on alternative voting arrangements for voters registered to cast their ballot at the Vatuwaqa Primary School in Suva.

Yesterday morning, a major fire broke out at the school which is one of 855 election day polling venues.

Despite polling due to begin tomorrow, Saneem said there was no need to panic.

“We are going to try and have it ready for you by tonight so that information can be published for tomorrow,” he said.

“There is no need to panic, we will be making alternative arrangements with suitable locations so that voters are still able to go and vote without any disruption.”

The FEO reports that 1448 voters are registered to vote at the venue.

More than 300 candidates are standing for seats in the 51-member Parliament.

  • There is a media blackout in Fiji for two days prior to the polling.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ. 

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