Observer group says Fijian election well administered

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-20 15:46:19|Editor: xuxin
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SUVA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Multinational Observer Group (MOG) released its report on Fiji's 2018 general election on Wednesday, describing it well-administered, with voting and counting transparent and credible.

Fiji's general elections were held on Nov. 14, 2018. The result was a victory for the ruling FijiFirst party of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, which received just over 50 percent of the total votes.

The MOG made 21 recommendations to assist the Fijian Elections Office, in a constructive spirit to build on the achievements of this election.

It said that if implemented, these recommendations will support Fiji in its efforts to further strengthen its electoral system and institutions ahead of the next election in 2022.

The MOG said that democracy is an ongoing process of learning and building, and in that spirit the group wants to help Fiji better herself for another great election in 2022.

The group noted that the security environment was peaceful and the campaign competitive, adding that conditions overall supported Fijians to exercise their right to vote freely and the outcome broadly represented the will of the voters.

Among the recommendations, it said the Electoral Commission plays a central role in Fiji's electoral system, and the MOG has recommended that it be provided with greater resources to deliver on its mandate more effectively.

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation radio news reported Wednesday that the MOG said consistent message from voters and other stakeholders during the consultations was that they would like to see party identification in official election material.

The MOG agrees that this inclusion would be useful for voters and help make election material clearer to understand.

MOG Co-Chair Jane Prentice added that the 2018 election would prove a milestone in Fiji's democratic progression and the election not only met a high standard in its technical and procedural aspects but also demonstrated that important democratic norms, like transparency and diversity, continue to evolve in a positive direction in Fiji.