CAPTION: Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
The Bainimarama Government has invited the global community to participate in preparations for the 2014 general election.
A letter has been sent to the heads of all diplomatic missions in Fiji by the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, laying out a timetable for election preparations and inviting them to take part.
A year ago, Fiji also invited other countries to participate in the successful Electronic Voter Registration (EVR) that continues in 2013.
The letter has also been sent to a range of multilateral agencies such as the United Nations Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, the International Labour Organisation and the Pacific Forum.
The Attorney-General says the Bainimarama Government has allocated $11.4 million dollars in the 2013 Budget for election preparations, including voter registration within Fiji and abroad, the recruitment of key personnel and the purchase of election materials such as ballot boxes.
He sets out several areas in which the global community can participate. The immediate priorities are planning the administration and logistics for the election, assessing the technical requirements of holding the poll and funding such things as the printing of ballot papers and voter lists.
In the second quarter of 2013 – the AG adds – Fiji invites participation to draft the rules and regulations for the election and also begin a program of civil education and awareness to educate Fijians on the new electoral system.
At the beginning of the third quarter of this year, the supply of election materials will commence. Expressions of Interest were advertised in Fiji last weekend for qualified companies to supply a range of items and advertisements are also being commissioned by Fiji’s diplomatic missions abroad.
“These preparations are for the first parliamentary elections ever conducted on the basis of one person, one vote, one value. We have a lot of ground to cover and we need the best possible preparations now to ensure a transparent process and state of preparedness. We need proper systems to guard against fraud and protect the integrity of the new parliament,” the Attorney-General added.