Joint Report on Fiji 2022 Elections Late Due to Lack of EC Quorum: Mataiciwa

Fiji’s Acting Supervisor of Elections Ana Mataiciwa says the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) has been unable to submit the joint report on the 2022 General Elections due to a lack of quorum in the Electoral Commission.

Mataiciwa provided these comments during a media update today, nearly a week after the report was scheduled to be submitted to the president and parliament as required under section 14(g) of the Electoral Act 2014.

The joint report, which combines the reports from both the Supervisor of Elections (SOE) and the Electoral Commission (EC), was expected to be presented last week. The law requires that the EC and the SOE “must submit a joint post-election report, within six months after the date of the election, to the President and Parliament concerning the conduct of the [2022] general election.”

“I have already complied with the requirements…and this is published on the FEO website,” Mataiciwa said noting that her report that forms part of the joint report was released in March in line with section 109(1) of the same law which requires that she tables her report to the EC.

Mataiciwa publicised the issuance of her report in a media statement on 15 March 2023.

As per practice, Mataiciwa’s report is then combined with the EC’s report to form the joint report that is submitted to the president and parliament. However, the lack of quorum in the EC has hindered the process.

As such, Mataiciwa said the EC chairperson, Mukesh Nand, “has written to His Excellency the President and the Honourable Speaker of Parliament on 15 June 2023 informing them of the inability to submit the Joint Report due to the lack of quorum.”

Since March of this year, the EC has been unable to achieve a quorum, which requires four members in attendance, due to vacant seats within the commission, leaving only the chair, Mukesh Nand, and Ateca Ledua remaining. The filling of the vacant EC seats is the mandate of the Constitutional Offices Commission (COC) which is chaired by Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka.

The delay in appointing the commissioners and the resulting lack of quorum also means the EC is unable to endorse the filling of the opposition party FijiFirst’s two vacant seats in parliament.

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