Monday, September 12, 2011

Fiji's Voting System & 2014 Election Details Revealed to Chinese & MSG

Source: Xinhua News - May 2011

Fiji plans to hold one day election in 2014.


Soro Toutou
Acting Supervisor of Elections Soro Toutou was quoted as saying that based on past elections' observation reports, the country's Elections Office would recommend to the government to seriously consider holding one-day election in 2014.

Toutou said for the voting system in 2014, each individual voter will go to their designated polling station on polling day.

According to the official, "the designated polling station would be the same Voter Registration Center during registration period.

"It is anticipated that the Voter Registration exercise will be launched late this year and after the completion of this exercise, the Elections Office will be able to determine how many voters will turn up per polling station on Election day," he said.

Toutou said that the voter registration will no longer be manual as in the past but electronic (biometrics) where it requires the capturing of finger prints and photographs apart from the usual information such as your birth certificate or passport names and permanent residential address.

He added that the elections office is yet to receive confirmation from the government on the type of voting system to be used.

However, according to the People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress under the Electoral Reform, an Open List Proportional Representation Voting System is been proposed for the 2014 Elections. 

But since revelation by the Dictator Bainimarama at the Engaging Pacific meeting in Nadi recently, progress details about the 2014 Election plan have been exposed. Why the MSG leaders should be the first to hear of the plan is typical of the regime's disdain of the people of Fiji and no doubt all part of the scheme to hoodwink the international community?

Coup Four Point Five has posted below a story about the sham around the plan and that it is all part of a delaying tactic by the unelected and illegal regime of Bainimarama.


Coup Four Point Five - 12 September 2011

Khaiyum's voter registration announcement prompts revelations of election 'delaying tactics'

Electronic voter registration: Soro Totou at right

Information today that casts another light on last week's announcement by Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum the regime is calling for expressions of interests for its   electronic voter registration programme.

Sources say an electronic voter registration programme has been ready for two years and has been waiting only for regime funding for hardware to run it and for legislation to regarding electoral boundaries to be finalised.

The programme was developed by ITC Services and sources say until the departure of Soro Toutou earlier this year, it had been demonstrating to the Electoral Commission the programme was ready to be used.

But they say the Commission has come to a sandstill and there has been no response from the Elections Office regarding the EVR system ITC had been working on  supposedly for Fiji's next general election.

Sources say there is currently no budget for EVR hardware proposed by ITC since 2009 and that planning has been ad-hoc and has caused frustration among the Elections Office, who are tired of the lack of commitment from the decision makers.

Coupfourpointfive has been told Khaiyum has meanwhile remained silent and aloof to efforts to engage.

MURRAY MCCULLY

The EVR was used in the 2006 elections but there were weaknesses and work was being done by ITC services to enhance it. Improvements included synchronising the bio data with the births deaths & marriages database to ensure that the name was same as that registered on the birth certificate.

This has now been done and the programme is believed to be cost effective because it can use existing laptops and inbuilt cameras.

The other advantage is that it also allows for the use of the GOVNET infrastructure, as well as the Vodafone and Digicel networks to connect directly to the EVR Database and have real time uploads of this information, preventing duplication of information.

Sources say the only issue that hadn't been resolved were boundaries and the electoral legislation to which the system must abide by. "This EVR system was also ready to incorporate the Municipal Electoral details so that the one system data can be used for multiple elections."   

Khaiyum's announcement last week the regime was starting voter registration was timed for its big push to be readmitted to the Pacific Islands Forum. But it is widely believed the regime will not deliver on its promise for free and fair elections in Fiji in 2014, after refusing to hold them in 2009, as it said it would.

We have been told that staff from the Elections office have taken trips and tours to Europe and Asian countries to view their EVR systems, but no proposals or papers have ever been presented on the Fiji EVR Model.

According to a source: "There have been so many meetings about the number of Elections registration centers, some one thousand of them but still nothing confirmed in writing to say this is the list, this is the venue and these are the timelines.

"It has been all public talk but there has been nothing in writing to confirm discussions and agreed arrangements. It's so obvious to the elections staff that this is delaying  tactics."  

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, says the regime has to do more than just announce it has started voter registration for New Zealand to consider changing its current hardline approach to Fiji.

McCully told the TV3 current affairs programme, The Nation, over the weekend the regime also has to restore liberties to the people of Fiji and stop intimidating locals.

"Voter registration is important and I've said to the Fiji regime directly and to others in the region, New Zealand stands ready to offers support with the census, with boundary distribution arrangements with all of the things that go into preparations for an election if we can see that happening.

"But we would want to see free and few elections and that all stakeholders can participate. A starting point for that surely, must be an indication that basic freedoms are in place so the emergency regulations need to go, there needs to be press freedom and the practice of rounding up church leaders and taking them down to the barracks has got to stop."

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