23 Oct 2013

Fiji government to start registering voters who live in NZ

9:59 am on 23 October 2013

The Fiji government will today start registering Fijians living in New Zealand ahead of the planned 2014 election.

The information ministry says electronic voter registration centres will run in Auckland and Wellington from today until Thursday next week.

The minister responsible for elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, is urging Fijians living in New Zealand to take advantage of the opportunity, saying it is their chance to make their vote count.

The New Zealand registrations are the first phase of what the government calls an ambitious programme to ensure Fijians living outside the country participate in the election.

However there are concerns that the registration process requires a thumbprint.

The New Zealand-based policy and management consultant, Sai Lealea, says given the record of the regime people will think twice about the motives for such an action.

He says it is something that wil be very closely scrutinised.

But the acting secretary responsible for elections, Mohammed Saneem, says taking thumbprints will help eliminate fraudulent voting.