29 May 2007

New electoral commission in Fiji will face severe pressure in future says academic

10:30 am on 29 May 2007

An academic at the Australian National University says the new electoral commission in Fiji will face severe pressure in the years ahead.

The interim government has appointed a new commission chair and three members last week after claiming last year's polls were rigged.

Associate professor of governance, Dr Jon Fraenkel, says the new electoral commission will certainly come across some difficulties.

"The military has made it pretty clear that it does not want the former SDL government to be elected, its various senior officers have also suggested that they want to ban various former SDL ministers. These are going to be serious questions that the electoral commission really needs to handle in a fair, impartial and cautious way."

Dr Fraenkel says the former electoral commission had considerable experience and he hopes the new commission will be able to deal with all questions in a fair way.

According to the interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudry, elections are more than three years away.