22 Nov 2004

Fiji's Election office calls for additional resources

4:21 pm on 22 November 2004

There's a call by Fiji's Elections Office for additional resources in order to begin registering voters for the 2006 general elections.

The acting Supervisor of Elections, Epeli Rabuka, says the office's current full time staff of 12 needs to be boosted to 29, as well as taking on 100 people in a project capacity who will travel throughout the country to check the registration of voters.

Mr Rabuka says it's a major task which will begin in January because there are estimated to be 200,000 people who have moved since the last elections.

He says they have agreement in principle but the Ministry of Finance has rejected the proposal.

"It's been approved by cabinet but the money man simply says, no, you cannot go ahead this time, you have to hold on or wait or put on hold. We'll nag at them, we'll still be pushing. They need to have transparent and effective elections, we need our staff on the ground."

Mr Rabuka says the massive displacement of people is partly due to the end of land leases so there's been a migration to urban squatter settlements from rural areas.