2 Apr 2014

NGOs in Fiji want Electoral Decree amended

3:41 pm on 2 April 2014

NGOs in Fiji say they are asking the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, to remove a section in the Electoral Decree which restricts any group receiving foreign funding from campaigning on election issues.

Section 115 defines campaigning as organising debates, public forums, meetings, panel discussions or publishing any information relating to the election.

The chair of the NGO Coalition for Human Rights Fiji, Shamima Ali, says its members met Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to voice their concerns.

Ms Ali says NGOs were told they can continue to do their work as long as it is not election-related, and civic education groups need to have their materials scrutinised by the elections supervisor.

"As long as it does not influence people as to how they vote. So we must not talk about elections and so on. We can carry on with our normal work. Those groups that are going to be doing civic education around the elections they need all their materials and programmes passed by the supervisor of elections and elections office."

Ms Ali says it will be writing a letter to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to request the section be removed from the Electoral Decree.