FIji Pol: Decline in eastern, overseas registered voter numbers

Registered voter numbers in the Eastern Division and overseas have dropped since Fiji’s 2018 Elections, according to stats provided by the Fijian Elections Office.

All other divisions recorded increases by between two percent and 7.5 percent except the eastern division and overseas which declined by eight percent and nearly six percent respectively, variances that the FEO is still to clarify.

Voter registration stats from the FEO’s 2018 General Election Voter Turnout and Survey Reports showed that 26,034 people were registered in the eastern division and 7,970, overseas, both of which dropped to 23,859 and 7,518 as per FEO’s updated stats dated 31 December 2021 – a combined decline of 2,627 voters.

The eastern division is said to be SODELPA’s stronghold, having tallied the highest votes from the division in both the 2014 and 2018 elections. Burebasaga paramount chief Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa, who was party leader in 2014, was pivotal in election outcomes that year, amassing 43 percent of their total eastern division votes. In 2018, however, the big numbers were shared between Simi Rasova, Anare Jale, party leader then Sitiveni Rabuka, and Peceli Vosanibola who also tallied the highest from the division.

Meanwhile, information available on the FEO’s website, likely published early this year showed that the FEO removed 6576 people from the National Register of Voters. A few of the removed voters were among 420 people marked deceased in BDM records dated 30 November 2021.

Sections 12 and 13 of the Electoral Voter Registration Act 2012 outlines the grounds that voters can be removed from the NRV and how to go about it.

As of 31 December 2021, the total registered voters ahead of the 2022 elections stood at 664,481, up by 4 percent since 2018.

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