2 May 2014

Fiji parties challenge ballot design

1:25 pm on 2 May 2014

Fiji's registered parties are planning legal action to effect a redesign of the ballot papers for the planned general election in September.

The Electoral Office has abided by an electoral decree which states the papers can only refer to candidates by an assigned number, and must not feature names or party symbols.

The Labour Party and National Federation Party say the design is an obstacle to free and fair elections.

The leader of the NFP, Biman Prasad, says voters cannot make informed decisions in the voting booth if names and symbols are absent.

"Now if you reduce the ballot paper and the candidates to just numbers you are not giving the voters a fair chance of voting for a candidate which belongs to a particular party and which is identified with a particular leader."

Biman Prasad says the party may take legal action to challenge the decree.