The President, Major General Retired Jioji Konrote in his speech while opening the new Parliament Year last week emphasised that the 2014 General Elections were pronounced credible.
However, while giving his presentation in Parliament yesterday, Ratu Naiqama feels that there remains challengers that need to be addressed to make Elections a 1 day election rather than a 3 week voting process.
“While certifying the 2014 Elections as credible the Multinational Observer Group did not pronounce that as free and fair and they made 38 Recommendations for Reform. The Fiji Electoral Commission in it’s report for 2014 also made various recommendations for reform to improve our Electoral System. The Multinational Observer Group recommended that your ballot papers must have the party name, symbol as well as the names of the candidates. This also recommended the improvement in the pre-polling process. SODELPA and 4 other political parties recommend that pre-poll be restricted to emergency workers and essential services and that the rest of the population vote on voting day,” said Opposition MP – Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.
Ratu Naiqama adds it is encouraging to note that new laws will be introduced and existing laws be reviewed.
“We seek the Government to revive the Land Use Decree, Media Decree, Public Order Decree and the 24 Decrees that they have adversely affected indigenous Fijians and group rights. We note that there will be a number of Legal Reforms and we on this side of the House on a number of occasions have supported Government’s Reforms but it is unfortunate that most of the Reforms undertaken on an ad-ho. To me successful is important that we all work together for all benefit of the Nation. A classic example is when the Leader of the NFP, Dr Biman Prasad requested for the establishment of a bi-partisan committee on the Sugar Industry, sadly it was totally rejected by the Government.”