North public consultations on the Electoral Bills draws public interest

There is growing interest in the public consultations in the North on the three election-related Bills and the 2018 General Election Joint Report.

Committee Chairperson Hon. Alvick Maharaj said that it is important that members of the public attend and air their opinions on these Bills and Report so that the voice of the Fijian people is heard.

“All the submissions we received would be considered when the Committee deliberates on its Report before it is tabled in Parliament for further debate and consideration.”

“In that regard, we continue to invite all Fijians in the North to come to the locations scheduled in the North and make use of these opportunities.”

The Committee is reviewing the following Bills and Report: 1) the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2020 (Bill No. 50 of 2020); 2) the Electoral (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Bill 2020 (Bill No. 51 of 2020); 3) the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) (Amendment) Bill 2020 (Bill No. 52 of 2020); and 4) the 2018 General Election Joint Report by the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections.

The Committee has conducted consultations at seven locations in Macuata last week and will continue with consultations this week in Bua, Cakaudrove and Taveuni.

“The public continue to draw attention to how the Elections are conducted and ways it could be improved. There is also an equal number of submitters who appreciated the changes already intended in the current amendment Bills,” said Hon. Alvick Maharaj.

“We will continue to hear all these submissions and note the concerns of the members of the public to be considered in our final Report to be tabled in Parliament,” added the Committee Chairperson.

The Electoral (Amendment) Bill, Electoral (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Bill and the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) (Amendment) Bill, aim to amend the Electoral Act 2014, Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act 2012 and the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act 2013, respectively.

The Committee will conduct consultations in the following locations this week: Korokadi Primary School (Bua, 4pm Monday), Wainunu village (Bua, 2pm Tuesday), Somosomo, Taveuni (Cakaudrove, 5pm Wednesday), Vuna, Taveuni (Cakaudrove, 11am Wednesday), Bagasau village (Cakaudrove, 10am Thursday), Mr Zakir’s Residence (Tabia, Labasa, 5pm Saturday), and Waiqele settlement (Labasa, 9.30am Sunday).

The public consultations are also aired live on the Parliament Facebook page daily.