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Parties Concerned At Missing Ballot Boxes

Political Parties Concerned At Missing Ballot Boxes
Issue No: 894 28 June 2001

Political parties in Fiji have expressed concern that over 1000 ballot boxes expected to be used in the next elections, have been missing.

The boxes were removed from the storage in Lautoka early this year. Media reports state that 100 boxes were returned, but that there is no trace of the other boxes. The media claims that the boxes are with the military. The military has not commented on this.

Political parties have expressed concern that the missing boxes may be the cause of vote rigging in the next election.

The Elections Office has stated that it is getting new boxed made and that there is no possibility of the missing boxes being used for vote rigging.

Meanwhile the Australian government has announced that it is giving Fiji $1.25m for the elections. The announcement was made by the Australian Ambassador to Fiji, Susan Boyd. Boyd stated: "Australia is contributing $1.25 million towards the costs of this election. The money will be used for the necessary voter education, so that all who vote understand properly the system and their part in it. It will also be used to provide officers from the Australian Electoral Commission, who have been invited to return to Fiji, to assist with training electoral office staff and work with them during the actual elections."

"In addition, we have set aside a further quarter of a million dollars to work with the institutions of the civil society in the context of these elections. Some of this money has already been used for a workshop for the media, to help them understand the processes of the election and how to report appropriately."


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