4 Oct 2007

Fiji NGO says electoral law changes should only be made within the rules of the constitution

11:28 am on 4 October 2007

A Fiji NGO is calling on New Zealand and Australia not to assist the interim administration's preparations for general elections if it goes ahead with changing the electoral system outside the constitution.

Angie Heffernan of the Pacific Centre for Public Integrity says any changes to the voting system can only be done within the provisions of the constitution, which means by a democratically elected parliament.

Ms Heffernan says any move to change the voting system would be unconstitutional and would face the acid test of the courts.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama has told the United Nations General Assembly that the country will do away with its racial voting system to enable all citizens to vote for one candidate whatever their race.

Ms Heffernan says Pacific Centre for Public Integrity supports the interim administration's plans to remove communal voting which entrenches race-based policies.

But, she says, the only right way to do this is through a democratically elected government which works within the provisions of the constitution. END