9 Jan 2014

Fiji announces seven-member Electoral Commission

5:01 pm on 9 January 2014

The Fiji government has announced a seven-member Electoral Commission to supervise the elections promised for September.

The minister in charge of elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the Commission will be headed by Chen Bunn Young, who's a former President of the Fiji Law Society.

The other members are Professor Vijay Naidu of USP, the tourism industry leader, James Sowane, an accountant, Jenny Seeto, a filmmaker, Larry Thomas, a priest, Father David Arms, and an educationalist, Alisi Daurewa.

Mr Sayed Khaiyum says he wanted to thank them for accepting their roles on the Commission.

The seven appear to have been picked by the regime as according to the constitution, the appointments have to be made by the president on the advice of the Constitutional Offices Commission.

However, there is no such commission.

The Constitutional Offices Commission is also tasked with advising the president to choose a supervisor of elections to succeed Felicity Heffernan who vacated the office in late 2008.

She was appointed in 2008 shortly before the regime reneged on its promise to hold elections in 2009.

The last Fiji election was held in May 2006 - seven months before the military seized power.