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Consultations on Electoral Bills continue

April 11, 2021 12:30 pm

Residents of Basoga, outside Labasa Town, have welcomed the proposed amendments to the three Electoral Bills.

Kalisita Naceba told the Standing Committee on Justice, Law, and Human Rights yesterday the recommended changes will make voting more convenient.

Naceba says there were many issues regarding polling venues and polling stations in the previous elections and she hopes the proposed amendments will address all that.

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The Committee is gathering submissions on the amendments proposed for the Electoral Act 2014, Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act 2012, and the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act 2013.

The proposed changes are based on the recommendations of the Multinational Observer Group and reports of the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections on the 2018 General Election.

Committee Chair, Alvick Maharaj says the proposed changes will basically make elections simpler and consistent with the international norms.

Some of the proposed changes include the publishing of the provisional voter lists at least 18 months before the date of the writ can be issued.

It also proposes the full list of polling venues for the next election be published at least two years before the date of the writ can be issued.

Under the amended bill, a polling arrangement is to be made for voters, who had registered overseas and are in Fiji but did not apply for postal voting, to be able to vote.

Other changes include a confined elections campaign period, the removal of restriction on Party Identification in the National Candidates list, prohibition of the use of state resources in party campaigns, and the enforcement of the blackout period.

The consultations are continuing in Dreketi today.

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