Fiji’s Labour Party remains unconvinced about the Electoral Commission’s independence calling for their resignation if they are not able to carry out their duties independently. Labour Party president Lavinia Padarath said the commission appear “to be accepting objectionable provisions of the Electoral Decree that could undermine the conduct of free and fair elections. This is totally unacceptable,” Padarath said. “The commission should be left alone to act independently. If it is not allowed to do so, then the proper course for its members would be to resign because it is now a question of their integrity and credibility.”
The party also voices their concern about Section 3(3) of the decree which grants a blanket immunity to election officials from any criminal or civil proceedings and Section 4(2) of the Decree which “allows consultations with the line minister, in this case the Attorney General.”
Padarath said together, Sections 3(3) and 4(2) “negate all other provisions of the decree that require the Commission and the Supervisor of Elections to act impartially and independently in the performance of their duties.”
The party also insists that party symbols are to be included in the ballot paper.