Fiji’s acting Supervisor of Elections Ana Mataiciwa says that they have not received any communication from the Constitutional Offices Commission regarding the appointment of commissioners to fill the vacant seats in the Electoral Commission.
Despite regular follow-ups, including just a week before the expiration of the terms of four commissioners in March (Jawahar Lal, Margot Marie Jenkins, Kavita Raniga, and Selina Lee Wah’s terms on the EC ended on March 20 this year), Mataiciwa said that there has been no response.
Mukesh Nand and Ateca Ledua continue to serve their three-year terms as chairperson and commissioner, respectively, after being appointed in February last year.
The COC is responsible for appointing new commissioners to fill the vacant seats. There are indications that the COC may not convene until after the budget, which is scheduled to be announced at 10 am next Friday, June 30.
While Mataiciwa, who is also secretary to the EC, acknowledged that the appointment process is beyond her control, she admitted that the delay is posing challenges to her work and the functioning of the EC.
“Apart from that [the delayed SOE-EC joint report] there are other things that we need to there needs to be decided by the EC,” she said.
The delay in the appointments and the subsequent sitting of the EC also means that Mataiciwa has not been formally notified of a complaint lodged against her by the FijiFirst party.
“At the moment I haven’t received official correspondence with regard to the complaint against me. It’s currently with the EC. Once the quorum is in place, then they should be able to relay, but now I cannot comment on it because I haven’t received it officially,” Mataiciwa said when asked to elaborate on the nature of the complaint.