Electoral Commission wants COC to consult them on SOE appointment and it is not a busy body - Malimali
We are shocked at the misinformation and bullying - Chair

Electoral Commission wants COC to consult them on SOE appointment and it is not a busy body - Malimali

We are shocked at the misinformation and bullying - Chair

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 16/04/2024
( Barbara Malimali source : facebook )

The Electoral Commission is hopeful that it will get a response from the Constitutional Offices Commission to letters it has written about the recruitment of the next Supervisor of Elections, and Chair, Barbara Malimali says being consulted is the first step to their involvement in the appointment of the next Supervisor.

Malimali says the commission is not a busy body interfering with the business of another organization as it has oversight of the Fijian Elections Office just as it has a constitutional obligation to be involved in the appointment of the Supervisor.

Malimali says they have been asking the Constitutional Offices Commission for the past eight months - to be consulted.

She says unfortunately, they have not had much success on that front.

The Electoral Commission of Fiji has also expressed astonishment at recent coverage in the mainstream and social media which suggested that the Commission is calling for the dismissal of the Acting Supervisor of Elections and interfering with the recruitment of the next Supervisor by the Constitutional Offices Commission.

At its meeting yesterday, the Commissioners discussed the events of the past two weeks during which a letter written to the COC had found its way into the public domain and was mischievously misinterpreted to suggest that the Commission was interfering with the recruitment of the SOE and calling for the dismissal of the Acting SOE.

Malimali adds she told the media recently that everyone needed to calm down about this.

She says under section 76(4) of the Constitution, the Electoral Commission has a role to play in the appointment of the Supervisor of Elections.

Malimali says the Electoral Commission is also constitutionally mandated to register citizens as voters, undertake voter education, settle electoral disputes, and monitor and enforce electoral laws.

She says the Fijian Elections Office, of which the SOE is head, is the operational arm of the Commission and it undertakes these functions on behalf of the Commission.

At its meeting, the Commission also expressed dismay at the way in which the public seemed to be so easily swayed by those who spread misinformation and rumours, and the harm that was done by them.

Malimali says they are horrified to see the bullying and harassment that have erupted following these false allegations.

She says she has personally faced a lot of bullying online for the past two weeks and been called all kinds of names.

Malimali says they ask the public to contact them if they have questions, not listen to rumours and fearmongering.

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