20 Jun 2008

Australian co-funds Fiji election supervisor

1:39 pm on 20 June 2008

The Australian government has agreed to pay part of the the salary of the new Fiji Supervisor of Election, Felicity Heffernan.

The Constitutional Officers Commission chairman, Rishi Ram, has told Radio Fiji that the interim Government will be paying for Ms Heffernan's salary with help from the Australian Supplementation Scheme.

Mr Ram said Ms Heffernan will be getting paid more than the previous Elections Supervisor, Semesa Karavaki, who was sacked by the interim regime.

Ms Heffernan is a New Zealand lawyer who is to take up her position next month.

She was nominated after another New Zealand candidate, Maurice Coughlan, withdrew once it became known that he had been disbarred in New Zealand in the early 1990s.

The interim regime had promised to hold elections in March but it now wants to push through changes to the electoral system which may lead to unspecified delays.