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The ballot paper numbers of the 235 election candidates in Fiji contesting next month’s election has been drawn.
FijiFirst Leader Voreqe Bainimarama’s number is 688.
National Federation Party (NFP) leader Biman Prasad is 596, SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka is 530 and Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa is 694.
HOPE Leader Tupou Draunidalo will be 604, Fiji Labour Party (FLP)’s Parliamentary leader Aman Ravindra-Singh is 732 and Unity Fiji Party Leader Savenaca Narube is 533.
Prior to the draw, Supervisor of Elections – Mohammed Saneem read out each of the candidate names in alphabetical order that would decide the order of the draw.
In addition a Police Officer remained on hand to ensure that the process was accountable.
Following that, the 235 balls were inspected by political party members and the Multinational Observer Group before the balls were placed in a transparent barrel to be spun and drawn.
Two members of the audience were asked to also spin the barrel as part of the randomness of the draw and its transparency.
The balls numbered from 508 excluding 666 until 743 were drawn.
The three digit numbers are what will appear on the ballot paper come November 14.
There will be no pictures of the candidates or that of the party symbol with the three digit number the only identification.
Meanwhile, the views of all Fijians about the electoral process are important to us, was the assurance by the Multinational Observer Group (MOG) observer co-ordinator Alice Cawte as observers started deployment across Viti Levu last week to observe various electoral processes ahead of the 2018 General Election.
The MOG confirmed three teams were deployed between last Tuesday and Friday to observe election processes related to pre-poll voting and voter awareness.
The observers visited villages in the Western and Central divisions and engaged with the communities about their experiences of voter registration and the electoral process more broadly.
According to the MOG secretariat, the observer teams also discussed with communities the participation of women and disabled people in the election.
Their visits coincided with Fijian Elections Office (FEO) consultations with the villagers on the provisional voter list and pre-poll voting.
The villages visited by the MOG included Sote, Vatukarasa, Nameka and Natuva in Tailevu, Burelevu, Naraviravi, Navavai, Nayaulevu and Maniava in Ra and Naraiyawa, Wainimakutu, Naqarawai, Saliadrau and Navunikabi in Namosi, which are all pre-poll locations.
A team of observers also visited a Republic of Fiji Military Forces barracks in Lautoka which would be a pre-poll venue.
“We want to thank all the communities we visited for welcoming us and taking the time to speak to us about their experiences,” Cawte said.
“We look forward to visiting more villages and towns over the coming weeks.”.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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