Fiji’s President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere today made five appointments, among them lawyer Mukesh Nand as the new electoral commission chair, effective today.
Nand (pictured with Ratu Wiliame) who takes up the chairperson role in place of Suresh Chandra, who resigned earlier this year, boasts over 38-year experience having worked with various law firms including Parshotam & Co. and Rams Law as well as worked for the Fiji Development Bank and Home Finance Company Limited.
Officiating in his first event today at the launch of the Nationwide Voter Registration and Awareness Drive at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, Nand said he was humbled to receive such an appointment and thanked the Constitutional Offices Commission and Ratu Wiliame for their “trust and faith”.
“I have just joined the EC and I certainly look forward to my overall roles and responsibilities. I look forward to working with my fellow commission members, the Supervisor of Elections, the Fijian Elections Office, and other stakeholders in delivering the 2022 General Election,” Nand said.
“The Electoral Commission, under section 75 of the Constitution is responsible for the conduct of free and fair elections in accordance with written law governing elections in Fiji. The EC will follow the law as it is – and that is our prescribed role in the Constitution. Under section 75(2)(b) of the constitution, the EC is also responsible for voter education.”
The Nationwide Voter Registration and Awareness Drive called ‘Know Your Election’ will run through 2 April 2022.
Meanwhile, Nand is joined on the commission by broadcast personality Ateca Ledua who contested the 2018 General Elections for FijiFirst.
It is unclear at this stage who Ledua will replace on the commission which according to the EC website still has six commissioners as provided for under section 75(6) of the 2013 Constitution. The existing commission members include Jawahar Lal (Jay Lal), Simione Ratabacaca Naiduki, Margot Marie Jenkins, Kavita Raniga, Mere Roden and Selina Lee Wah.
Furthermore, the other new appointees include Accident Compensation Commission Fiji CEO Parvez Akbar who was appointed to the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission where he is joined by Parvesh Sharma as chairperson, and Sairusi Dukuno takes up the Auditor-General’s role in an acting capacity.
To view the EC Chair’s bio, please click here