17 Apr 2008

New Fiji election supervisor focuses on communication needs

3:38 pm on 17 April 2008

Fiji's newly appointed Elections Supervisor, Auckland lawyer, Dr Maurice Coughlan, says a key challenge will be bringing people together through improved communication.

Dr Coughlan is due to take up his three-year appointment early next month.

He says he has not previously been involved in electoral systems but has had extensive experience in projects and views this role as another project.

Dr Coughlan says he will be trying to win the hearts and minds of those who have the welfare of the country at heart.

"And that involves, obviously, Pacific countries, other countries further afield, and also building up very strong and reliable communications within the country itself, with the people who make things tick there. So there is certainly a role in trying to bring people together and support the concept of strengthening the electoral position."

Dr Maurice Coughlan.

The appointment of an Elections Supervisor has been seen as a key development in ensuring Fiji can hold elections, as the interim regime has promised, by next March.