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1800 Fijians cannot vote in 2006 election

Fiji New Brief

More than 1800 Fijians serving in the British Army cannot register or vote in the election scheduled this year. Supervisor of Elections Semesa Karavaki said their employment with the British Army was essentially a military service in a foreign country for a set contractual period. Mr Karavaki said in short, the residency of a Fiji citizen who was employed by the British Army was no longer Fiji but an overseas country. He said Fiji soldiers serving abroad under the Fiji Military Forces were registered late last year by military personnel. He said for those eligible voters in Kuwait and Iraq, they were liaising with Foreign Affairs to use their diplomatic relationship with Kuwait to register them. (FT)

The 2006 elections are likely to be monitored by foreign observers. The Government has approached the European Commission to call up foreign electoral observers to observe the 2006 general elections. EU delegation member Myfanwy Vandevelde says the EU embassy to Fiji has received the Government’s request, and said the commission was examining it. Ms Vandevelde said that it would take time to examine the request before the commission could reply. (FS)

Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Adi Asenaca Caucau said that a portion of the $1 million allocated towards poverty alleviation programmes, will go towards building a new housing facility for child beggars. And she is content with the plan as the new housing facility is expected to be located at Richards Road in Suva. “We have other increases in our overall budget like the $1 million more towards Family Assistance and the 100 per cent increase of $300,000 allocated in support of the Women’s Plan of Action,” Adi Asenaca said. (DP)

Fiji tourism has earned $4.8billion in foreign exchange in 10 years from a marketing investment of $102.7million. This was stated in the Ministry of Tourism publication of Tourism Update, which also revealed government investment had generated $6 billion in income. The publication showed government received returns of $1.5 billion in Government revenue and approximately 467,000 jobs were created. (DP)

Foreign investors have leased out two islands at $2million so they can get a “slice of paradise in the Pacific”. New Zealand immunologist Dr Anthony Thompson, Richard Hatherly, A Dunedin entrepreneur and Adam Culy, a solicitor in London have leased Malima island and Nanuku Levu island in northern Lau. The Native Land Trust Board Act states foreigners cannot buy Fiji land but they can only lease it long term. (DP)

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