Fiji gears up for general election as PM announces date
Registered voters will go to the polls on December 14 after the Writ of Election was issued by Fiji’s President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere today. Picture: Fijian Government Facebook Page
By GERALDINE PANAPASA
It’s official. Fiji’s 2022 General Election will be held on December 14 after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama announced the long-awaited date yesterday as well as the dissolution of Parliament.
While government effectively moves into caretaker mode following the PM’s announcement, the Fijian Elections Office and the Electoral Commission are working round-the-clock to ensure the 2022 General Election becomes a platform to vote with confidence and freedom.
The Writ for the 2022 General Election was issued today by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere at the State House.
Electoral Commission chairman Mukesh Nand said the Fijian Elections Office had concluded its election preparation activities and along with the Commission, they were ready for election day.
“Voter registration will cease following the issue of the Writ, at the time prescribed by the Writ. So, if you still have not registered, this is your opportunity to do so,” Mr Nand said.
“Political Party registrations will also cease immediately after the Writ is issued. Following the issue of the Writ, the Fijian Elections Office will publish a timeline of important dates for all Fijians.
“As announced earlier, the 2022 General Election will take place on 14 December 2022 with polling stations open from 7.30am, and close at 6pm after the last voter in the queue at 6pm has voted.”
Mr Nand said candidate nominations would open following the issuance of the Writ.
He said they were optimistic that this year’s Election would set new benchmarks but this could only be possible if all voters exercised their democratic right and come out to vote.
Supervisor of Election Mohammed Saneem said voter registration would cease by 6pm today as well as the upgrading of cards, and updating of voter details such as name and address.
Mr Saneem said FEO had established 63 hot spots in various towns and cities to assist voters before 6pm.
“After 6pm, you will not be able to change your address or your polling venue. You will not be able to correct your name if it is not correct, and you will also not be able to register as a new voter,” he said.
Nine registered political parties are expected to contest the general election and so far 692,918 voters have registered with the FEO. Of this number, 345,118 are females while 347,800 are males.