Efforts to increase voter turnout in municipal elections

September 25, 2023 4:44 pm

There was very low voter turn-out during the municipal elections held in 2005, prompting the Local Government Ministry to look at ways to change this in the next election.

Permanent Secretary, Seema Sharma as part of the review of the Local Government Act 1972, they are proposing the voter age for municipal elections to be reduced to 18 to meet the national elections.

Sharma says 18 years ago, only 30 percent of the eligible voters voted in all municipalities.

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The PS says that the public consultations on the Local Government Electoral Process that will begin from today, will also be used to remind people of their civic duty.

“18 years ago some of them were just born when the last (municipal) election was held. No one even know what Mayors and Councilors are in Fiji. So there will be very extensive drive to get our youths especially and those people who understand this system to come back and vote.”

Sharma says the coalition government’s vision has been to give the power back to the people to decide who should be their councilors.

The Working Group is proposing that the councilors will be appointed for a four-year term.