15 May 2006

Observers give positive assessment of Fiji poll

9:17 am on 15 May 2006

Observers of the Fiji election have given a largely positive assessment of the polling process despite a range of logistical and organisational problems.

The Commonwealth observers say the shortcomings seen in last week's

polling process don't amount to a systematic effort to fix the election.

And the Forum's secretary general, Greg Urwin, also says there were

irregularities but they were not such that they could undermine the

validity of the poll.

"It's really a question as to wether those irregularaties which need to be dealt with themselves amount to the kind of situation in which you might want to call into question the validity of the election itself. It was the view of our observers that those irregularities did not amount to such a situation."

Counting is now underway for the 71 seats in the new parliament