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Commission welcomes proposed amendment

August 27, 2021 3:40 pm

The Electoral Commission has welcomed the announcement that the government is now considering amendments to the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act 2012 as well as other consequent laws.

Commission Chair, Suresh Chandra says they recognize that the right to free and fair elections cannot be properly executed until and unless the Voter List used in the national election is free from error, and can be verified against other relevant documents and official sources.

Amendments would ensure the registration in the National Register of Voters is done based on records maintained officially at other agencies of Government.

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Chandra adds the Commission has always supported the Fijian Elections Office in its endeavours to match and verify details of voters against other registries in Fiji.

He says while they respect the decision of the Court, the Electoral Commission as the institution responsible for the conduct of a free and fair election, is also concerned that it might set a precedent where people may enroll themselves in the National Register using pseudo names and names which cannot be verified.

Chandra stresses this may result in issues on Election Day where names may not be found and may also result in abuse of the voter card as a universal ID when people apply for financial and government services.

The Electoral Commission is concerned about the paramount credibility of the voter register and as such welcomes and supports efforts to amend electoral legislation to ensure that the voter list remains accurate, complete, and verifiable.

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