A little over 500 candidates are projected to be nominated as provisional candidates for Fiji’s 2022 General Election should each of the nine registered parties field the maximum number of 55 when candidate nominations open tomorrow.
The projection is inclusive of independent candidates a few of whom have registered their interest with the Fijian Elections Office.
Fiji’s Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said a few aspiring individuals looking to contest the election on their own have informed the FEO that they would be putting in their nomination, one of whom is expected to file this week.
“Following consultation with Political Parties, we will be announcing the itinerary through which political parties will be nominating. And we invite all political parties to make bookings with the FEO so that on the final day of nominations, we do not have a last-minute rush of Political Parties coming in because if any candidate for political parties is rejected on the last day, they cannot replace that candidate with another,” Mr Saneem said.
Submission of nomination forms must accompany a deposit of $1,000 for all provisional candidates. Furthermore, independent candidates are also required to present a list of 1,000 supporters in the approved form. The last day for filing candidate nominations is 12 pm on 14 November 2022. Parties will not be allowed to change or replace candidates after the close of nominations. Any person who wishes to withdraw their nominations may do so in writing to the SOE by 12 midday on 15 November. For objections, if any, these are to be filed before 4 pm on 15 November as well, with a fee of $100 for each objection lodged.
As per Fiji’s Constitution and the Electoral Act 2014, to be eligible to contest the election, the nominee must be a citizen of Fiji, a registered voter, have been living in Fiji for at least two years immediately before being nominated, is not an undischarged bankrupt, is not a member of the Electoral Commission either now or in the last four years before being nominated, is not subject to a sentence of imprisonment when nominated, have not been convicted of any offence in the last eight years before being nominated for which the maximum penalty under the law is a prison term of 12 months or more, and has not been found guilty of any offence under a law relating to elections, registration of political parties or registration of voters, and does not hold a public office else their nomination will be considered invalid and they will be liable for a fine of up to $10,000 or a prison term of up to five years, or both.
In the 2018 election, there were no independent candidates. Two-hundred and thirty-five candidates from six political parties contested the election for 51 parliamentary seats.