4 Feb 2017

New Electoral Commission for Fiji announced

3:20 pm on 4 February 2017

Fiji's new Electoral Commission has been appointed following a delay.

A woman votes in the Fiji elections.

A woman votes in the Fiji elections. Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley

The three-year term of the Electoral Commission expired on 9 January, and an oversight body chaired by the Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, was supposed to appoint a new commission by that time.

Opposition parties voiced their concerns over the lapse, saying it was worrying that the constitutional office was allowed to remain vacant when preparations for next year's elections were already underway.

However, FBC reports that a new commission has now been formed and it will be chaired by Suresh Chandra.

The commission's six other members will be Simione Ratabacaca Naiduki, Margot Marie Jenkins, Graham Bruce Southwick, Jawahar Lal, Kavita Raniga and Ratu Paula Halaiwalu.

Under Fiji's 2013 constitution and the 2014 elections decree, the electoral commission is an independent body tasked with supervising the elections office, which is responsible for preparing the vote.

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