Voters brave the heat at the Sigatoka Andhra Sangam College polling venue today. Picture: ROSELYN BALI
By ROSELYN BALI in Sigatoka
Olosara resident Saraswati, 80, could not wait to cast her vote at the Sigatoka Andhra Sangam College polling venue as she waited her turn in the long queue that picked up just after 8am.
Dressed in a sari (formal Indian women’s garment), Saraswati said her attire was specially chosen for election day.
“Every election, I would wear a sari when I’d go to vote. It is something that makes me feel good and happy,” she said.
“For me, it is important to vote in the general election so that our voices can be heard. I hope that the elected government will work in the best interest of everyone, including the elderly.”
Korotogo Andhra School headteacher Riaz Ullah was the first person to vote at the Sigatoka Andhra Sangam College polling venue.
He was at the venue at 6am and offered a helping hand to the elderly who were making their way to the shaded area as others braved the morning heat carrying bottles of water and umbrellas.
“This is my third time voting in a general election and it feels great to be able to cast my vote. It is my hope that the elected government will look more into the education sector and facilities for the children,” he said.
“We are here to choose a government that will look after us over the next four years. Whichever government is formed from the 2022 General Elections, I wish them all the best.”
Speaking at the second Polling Day update at midday, Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said good weather continued to prevail around the country as he urged voters to make their way to their designated polling venues to cast their ballot.
As of 11am today, Mr Saneem said 164,954 voters had cast their ballots at 1145 polling stations and anticipated more people to turn up to polling venues as the day progressed.
“The queues at polling venues have whittled down, that means if you go to vote now, you should be able to go directly to the polling station, cast your vote and go home,” he said from the National Results Centre.
The next Polling Update is expected at 4pm by the chairman of the Electoral Commission.
*Roselyn Bali is a final-year journalism student at The University of the South Pacific’s Laucala campus. She is reporting on the Fiji 2022 General Election for Wansolwara News from Sigatoka.