29 Apr 2014

Controversial Fiji decree provision not in draft copy - NGO

11:17 am on 29 April 2014

The NGO Coalition for Human Rights in Fiji says a controversial section of the Electoral Decree was not in the draft copy submitted to the Electoral Commission.

Section 115 says any group receiving foreign funding cannot campaign on election issues, which includes organising debates, panel discussions or publishing information.

Violating the Decree can result in a 27,000 US dollar fine or 10 years in jail.

The coalition's chair, Shamima Ali, says because the Attorney General has not responded to a request the provision be clarified, her group approached the Electoral Commission for help.

"We have appealed to the Electoral Commission who themselves have said they were in the dark about that particular clause in the Electoral Decree. It was apparently missing when they first saw it. So they were going to get an independent legal opinion on that."

Shamima Ali says it hopes to hear back from the Electoral Commission on the outcome this week.

The Electoral Commission could not be reached for comment.