The Acting Supervisor of Elections Ana Mataiciwa says the Fijian Elections Office has complied with the requirements highlighted in Section 109 of the law – and has tabled its report on the 2022 General Election.
Yesterday, FijiFirst General Secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum claimed that the Fijian Elections Office breached the law, as it was to have produced a Joint Report with the Electoral Commission, and present a Post-Election Report that has to be tabled in Parliament and to His Excellency the President.
Mataiciwa cleared the air on the claims made by Sayed-Khaiyum in a press conference today.
Mataiciwa said the Electoral Commission and the Fijian Elections Office to date have not been able to table the Joint Report given that the Electoral Commission is unable to meet because it only has two existing members and five vacant seats.
Mataiciwa said the Electoral Act 2014 specifies that the Electoral Commission, in making decisions, must have a full quorum of four members.
“As the Acting Supervisor of Elections, we have already complied with the requirements of Section 109 of the law by tabling the FEO Report to the Electoral Commission and this is published on the FEO website – In line with current practice, this report is attached to the Joint Report,” Mataiciwa said.
The Acting Supervisor of Elections also highlighted that tomorrow will mark the one-week lapse of the legislative deadline in submitting the Joint Report.
Mataiciwa said the Electoral Commission Chair Mukesh Nand has written to the President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere and the Speaker of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu on June 15 informing them of the inability to submit the Joint Report due to the lack of quorum in the Commission.
“The Fijian Elections Office and the Electoral Commission have no intentions of breaching or not complying with existing legal requirements – and given the current situation, we are limited by vacancies in the Electoral Commission which has not been filled by the Constitutional Offices Commission.”
“Also, the Acting Supervisor of Elections does not have the mandate to facilitate the processing of the vacant seats in Parliament, as indicated by Sayed-Khaiyum.” she said.
Mataiciwa said the responsibility of filling the two vacant seats in Parliament lies with the Electoral Commission as stipulated in Sections 64 of the Constitution.
She also added that any complaints made against her as Acting Supervisor of Elections are to be directed to the Electoral Commission.