29 Aug 2014

Clarification urged as Fiji poll looms

1:22 pm on 29 August 2014

A candidate for Fiji's Sodelpa party is calling on the Electoral Commission to clarify the rules around campaigning after a pre-polling announcement.

Pre-polling will begin on the 3rd of September, two weeks before the official election date.

Under the electoral decree, campaigning by political parties is not allowed in the 48 hours before polling.

Mick Beddoes says this places an increased burden on parties to bring forward their plans for polling by two weeks, and wonders whether it means campaignng will have to stop by Monday.

He says this needs to be clarified urgently.

"If they do in fact stop advertising and campaigning 48 hours before, as is stated in the electoral decree. And it doesn't say pre-polling or anything, it just says 48 hours before polling, well what do you call pre-polling? It's polling."

Mick Beddoes says while pre-polling may be a part of democracy in other parts of the world, he says he suspects the regime is using it as a way to boost votes for its FijiFirst party.