28 Apr 2006

Commonwealth election observers arrive in Fiji

1:17 pm on 28 April 2006

A group of observers from the Commonwealth has arrived in Fiji to monitor the general elections which are due to begin on Saturday of next week.

The former Jamaican foreign minister, K D Knight, is leading the team which comprises representatives from Tanzania, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati and Antigua and Barbuda.

The Commonwealth secretary general, Don McKinnon, says the purpose of the observer group is to assess whether the elections are credible and meet international standards, and whether the results reflect the will of the people.

European Union observers have already been at work in Fiji for two weeks with more to come this weekend.

Meanwhile, the supervisor of elections, Semesa Karavaki, says the general elections would go ahead as scheduled on May the 6th despite admitting that mistakes and spelling errors were found in ballot papers submitted to the Government Printer for printing.

The government printer, Vilikesa Nareki, has told the Fiji Sun that the mistakes and spelling errors have delayed the printing because they have had to check back with the Elections Office.