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Observers engage with wide cross section of Fijians

The Multinational Observer Group will engage with as many Fijians as possible before the polling day on November 14.

These include people from all walks of life beginning with political parties, political candidates, civil societies, faith-based organisations, women’s groups as well as Non-Government Organisations and the Government.

The group is co-led by Australia, India and Indonesia.

Observer co-ordinator, Alice Cawte said between now and the polling day they would be observing a range of electoral processes including voter registration, candidate nominations and registrations, voting processes including pre-poll, postal and polling day voting, counting processes and the resolutions of disputes.

“The MOG will stay in Fiji and travel throughout Fiji until after the polling day when the votes have been counted, the results decided and disseminated,” said Cawte.

“The MOG mission is to assess whether the Fijian voters are able to exercise their right to vote freely and whether the outcome broadly represents the will of all the Fijian voters.

“At the end of the process, we will issue a statement detailing observations; we will do that as soon as possible after the election.”

The MOG team will also issue an observation report to offer recommendations of improvement in future elections.

“The MOG is an independent entity and we are committed to impartiality, independence and objectivity. All observers will commit to a code of conduct which embraces these principals,” Cawte said.

“We have come here with an open mind and we are here to listen to the people of Fiji.

“It is important for the people of Fiji to have confidence in the MOG, because we hope to play our part in ensuring the confidence of the Fijian people and the international community in the Fijian election.”

She also highlighted that they were aware of the irregularities in the 2014 MOG report.

However, they are the 2018 MOG team and they will be making their own observations and recommendations.

“We are ready, and I think we will do a good job in observing the election,” she said.

In terms of the logistics challenges that they might be facing, Ms Cawte said they were looking at a good number of observers to come in and they would also include election experts because there could be technical issues involved.

There are seven Australian participants in the MOG Secretariat. The Indonesian and Indian observers are yet to arrive.

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