Consultation on Local Govt Act begins as govt expects to hold local govt elections in the second half of next year

Consultation on Local Govt Act begins as govt expects to hold local govt elections in the second half of next year

By Rashika Kumar
Wednesday 20/09/2023
Minister for Local Government Maciu Nalumisa

Public consultations for local government elections will be held from next week to the 14th of October, and the Ministry of Local Government is looking to hold the elections in the second half of next year.

Minister for Local Government, Maciu Nalumisa says they are looking to amend the Local Government Act to reduce the voting age from 21 to 18 years, the sitting term to be 4 years instead of 3 and changing the electoral system.

He says part of the review will also include allowing a sitting MP to contest local government elections.

Nalumisa says this is an opportune time for young voters as they are trying to align the voter age to the national general elections.

He says pursuant to cabinet approval, the Ministry has established a dedicated working group which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Local Government and has Permanent Secretary for Finance, Solicitor General, Acting Supervisor of Elections and 13 municipal council CEOs.

Acting Supervisor of Elections, Ana Mataiciwa says the Local Government Bill will be tabled next month and once it is passed into law, the Fijian Elections Office will begin the registration process and training election officials.

She says the requirements for voting in municipal elections will include being registered in the National Register of Voters, be 18 years of age and being a resident of a ward for at least 3 months.

Mataiciwa adds if you are not on the National Register of Voters, FEO officials will also be registering you as well.

Consultations will be held at the Suva Civic Centre lower hall on Monday, at the Lami Parish Catholic Hall on Tuesday, International School School on Wednesday, Women's Accommodation, Nausori Market Thursday, Queen Victoria Hall in Levuka on Friday, Sai Hall in Sigatoka next on the 3rd of next month, Nadi Civic Centre on the 4th of next month, Lautoka Girmit Centre on the 5th of next month, Multi-purpose Bure in Ba on 6th of next month, Garvey Park in Tavua on the 11th of next month, Rakiraki Market Conference room on the 12th of next month, Labasa Civic Auditorium on the 13th of next month and Yaroi Village Hall on the 14th of next month. Consultation is from 5-7pm.

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