8 Oct 2007

Former Fiji PM says changes to electoral roll may not solve problems

12:03 pm on 8 October 2007

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has warned that the real purpose behind the common electoral roll may not be achieved if it is introduced at a time of political instability.

The Sunday Times quotes Mr Rabuka as saying that if forced on Fiji, such a voting system may consolidate race lines, because it is still undetermined whether the country has done away with racial compartmentalisation.

Mr Rabuka's comments follow the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama's recent announcement at the United Nations General Assembly that a common roll system would be introduced in Fiji.

Mr Rabuka says it is difficult to change the course Commodore Bainimarama has prescribed at the UN

He says the constitution would have to be amended because it prescribes the basis of the electoral system but that is something which only parliament can do.

The common roll means any person of any race can contest the election and represent the interest of all people within his or her constituency, irrespective of race.