INITIAL STATEMENT ON ANNOUNCEMENT OF ELECTORAL DECREE 2014

30th March, 2014.

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum welcomes the long awaited announcement made on Friday 28th March  that of the Electoral Decree  2014.

Whilst CCF will soon be making a more substantial statement I have these  initial comments to make :

Firstly, we note with interest the appointment of  Mr. Mohammed Saneem as Supervisor of Elections and wonder if the  gentleman has met all the criteria for selection to this important post.

I refer in particular to years of experience  and  the conditions which will ensure independence and credibility of performance  in order for Mr. Saneem  to satisfy conditions required by  international standards.

Secondly we note Section 115 of the Electoral Decree refers to restrictions for civil society such as CCF to desist from engaging in “campaign”. CCF recently issued a statement to ascertain ad reemphasize its position that is I is not aligned with any political party. Bu we do engage creatively with all stakeholders by providing critical and alternative on matters of importance  to members of the public.  We do not regard this role as one which should be seen as campaign activities.

So  I conclude we do not think Section 115 of the electoral Decree is applicable to our role as a pro-democracy movement resourced and supported by international partners to assist Fiji citizens and  all stakeholders to participate effectively  in the September elections and in a manner that can lead to having a free and fair elections.

Rev. Akuila Yabaki

CEO, CCF.

Ends.

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