THE Citizens’ Constitutional Forum is gearing up towards the 2018 General Elections through Voter Education and Awareness targeting urban and peri-urban communities in the Central Division.
In our meeting with the Chairman of the Fijian Electoral Commission and Supervisor of Elections in September, the FEO made clarifications in regards to Section 115 of the Electoral Act, CCF CEO Bulutani Mataitawakilai said.
The CCF is now in a better position compared to 2014 to carry out voter education confidently with support and collaboration from the FEO and other partners to assist voters prepare for the 2018 General Elections.
The voter education awareness will roll out from December and entails topics relating to the 2013 Constitution, principles of good governance, importance of exercising your rights to vote and basic information on the electoral system and processes.
The CCF is also calling for the 2018 General Elections to be free and fair for voters, candidates, political parties, and the media.
CCF wishes to remind citizens that their participation in Fijians political process is a human right whereby citizens have the right to vote for the candidate and political party of their choice without fear or intimidation.
CCF is an apolitical organization and has a political participation policy which guides its board members and staff on political participation such as Elections.
Section 115 of 2014 Electoral Act prohibits organizations that receive donor funding to organize meetings, carry out awareness or public discussion on election after the announcement of the General Elections.
In 2014, NGOs such as CCF were only allowed to conduct voter awareness three months prior to election date.
During CCF’s Constitutional Awareness Program earlier this year, many electoral related issues were raised by the public especially on “how to vote”.
Subsequently the CCF had sought meetings with the FEO to clarify parameters for CSO’s around Voter Education and these were successfully discussed in September.