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October 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Economist and former politician, Dr Wadan Narsey believes electronic voting during the 2014 General Elections will create chaos.

Speaking during the Constitution Commission’s seminar on Electoral Reforms last night at the University of the South Pacific's Laucala Campus, Dr Narsey said there is no guarantee that somebody will not interfere with vote counts in the electronic voting system.

“The voting paper is there so you can count it and keep it as a record for accountability,”  he said.

"Fiji’s rural voters, irrespective of which ever ethnic group they belong to, will not  be able to go to the electronic voting booths and press buttons on screens with alphabets or numbers."

“Even some graduates can’t do that, so think about the elderly citizens of Fiji who are not even able to withdraw money from ATM machines."

He also spoke on the benefits of proportional representation as a method of ensuring equality of all votes- Multi Racial and Gender Equality.

However, this was also part of Dr Narsey’s submission to the Constitution Commission stating that it was fine to have electronic voter registration system but not electronic voting system in 2014.  

Meanwhile, the panel of experts which included Kare Vollan, Father David Arms and Dr Narsey discussed their experiences of alternative voting systems which is intended to establish a fair system of voting so that the interests and wishes of the people of Fiji can be represented through free, fair and honest elections.

Vollan who is an expert and advisor on Electoral Reform spoke on system of proportional representation while Father Arms discussed electoral proposals contained in the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress.

By Indrani Krishna

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