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New seat installed in Fiji parliament

A new seat has been installed in Fijian parliament for the new members of the house post 2018 general election.

One extra seat has been added to the current fifty member parliament following an Electoral Commission decision almost a year ago.

Electoral Commission Chair Suresh Chandra says the newest seat in parliament makes it a fifty-one member house.

“If there’s an increase in the population which was fixed at 50 seats at certain number of population at the time and percentage has increased therefore one seat is one that’s added onto parliament to ensure the right proportion is there.”

Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni says the seat will remain empty for the next sitting of the current parliament which is due next Monday.

However, she says the seat will be contested for the first time in the 2018 general election.

“The EC is abiding by what has been provided for by the constitution that one year before the general election they must review the population size against the seats and if there’s an increase in population than that will justify an extra seat in parliament and this has been put in place.”

There’s a ratio of one seat in parliament for every 17,472 citizens however the census results from last year shows Fiji’s population has grown to 886, 416 which is close to thirteen thousand more than the 2014 population count.

Section 54 subsection 2 of the Constitution states that for each general election of Parliamentary members after the first general election is held, the Electoral Commission shall, at least one year before the general election, review the composition of parliament and may if necessary increase or decrease the total number of parliamentary members....

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