Yesterday [Monday June 10], Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum convened and chaired the inaugural meeting of an international committee to discuss assistance for Fijian Elections Office leading up to the 2014 parliamentary elections.
“This first meeting marks a significant step forward in Fiji’s preparations for the 2014 elections. The Bainimarama Government’s top priority is making sure that elections are conducted in a smooth, transparent and apolitical manner, using best international practices, unlike elections in the past. Partnership with the international community will help us achieve this,” said the Minister, speaking after the meeting.
The coordinating Committee will be responsible for organising and coordinating member countries assistance for the 2014 elections. Yesterday’s meeting included High Commissioners, Ambassadors and representatives from United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, India, France and Britain, as well as representatives from the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Commonwealth Secretariat. It is also understood that other countries and organisations may join the Committee.
“The Committee has been organised to identify what resources each country is willing and able to contribute,” said the Minister. Committee members are expected to report back to the Minister Responsible for Elections on what specific assistance their governments or organizations will be willing to provide to the Fijian Elections Office in preparation for the 2014 elections.
The Coordinating Committee will have its second meeting early next month.
L-R (Front): Deputy Chief Mission, Korean Embassy, Ms Oka Byol-Im ; Japanese Ambassador, H.E Eiichi Oshima ; Acting Head of Mission, Australian High Commission, Mr Glenn Miles; Indonesian Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Adil Chandra Salim; Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Electoral Reforms, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum; Commonwealth Electoral Expert, Mr Carl W. Dundas, Political Affairs Officer in the Goo Offices Section, Commonwealth, Dr Tes-Ann Kremer, Acting Head of Mission, New Zealand High Commission, Mr Phillip Taula
L-R (Back): Charge’ De Affairs, Embassy of Republic of France, Mr Jules Irrmann; United Nations Resident Coordinator Mr Knut Ostby; Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Mr. Jeffrey Robertson; Indian High Commissioner, H.E Mr Vinod Kumar; Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Fiji, Ambassador Andrew Jacobs; Advisor and Head of Democracy Section, Commonwealth, Mr Martin Kasirye; The Acting British High Commissioner Steven Chandler