Fiji’s official 2022 General Elections campaign period starts today – 26 April, 2022.
The Fijian Elections Office Monday launched the campaign guidelines detailing the do’s and don’ts that political parties have to adhere to while campaigning.
According to the Electoral Act 2014, the campaign period must not be earlier than 30 days prior to the completion of the three years and six months period of the sitting of Parliament after the last election and later than 48 hours prior to the upcoming election.
The current term of Parliament expires on 26 May, 2022.
Restrictions on Opinion Polls: publications of election-related polls are prohibited seven days prior to Election Day and the day of election. A breach of this provision incurs a fine upon conviction of not more than $10,000(US$5,000).
Non-interference in campaign: No private citizen or public official may hinder in any manner whatsoever the lawful campaign activity of any political party or candidate, including the distribution and placement of campaign materials and the holding of campaign rallies and meetings.
It is unlawful for any person to tear, remove or cover up any campaign material posted in designated public places.
Contravention of this provision attracts a conviction, a fine not exceeding $10,000(US$5,000) or 5years imprisonment or both.
Campaign Materials: Any campaign material published and distributed by parties and candidates must include the name and address of the person and organisation who authorised and paid for the printing of the material; the name of the company that printed the material along with its business address and the date of issue.
Meanwhile, the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) launched a complaints portal Monday for members of the public who wish to complain about the services of the FEO during or leading up to election day.
Supervisor of Elections (SOE) Mohammed Saneem said there were bound to be situations where people might not be happy and the portal was where they could lodge their complaints.
“Some might feel that the activity that they were part of was not to their satisfaction, to that end FEO being the very transparent organisation that we are, have designed and created a portal through which a person can make a complaint on our website,” Saneem said.
“This complaint portal will be then used to monitor the progress of the complaint and responses will be given to the person based on the complaint that has been received.
“This will be very handy for political parties and agents of political parties during the election process so that there is a formal procedure to which they can give a complaint to the FEO and for us to maintain a complaint register.”.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS