Internal audit underway to determine what caused the ‘glitch’ on election day - AG
We will remove any punitive provisions against journalists and media personnel - Turaga

Internal audit underway to determine what caused the ‘glitch’ on election day - AG

We will remove any punitive provisions against journalists and media personnel - Turaga

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 17/02/2023
Attorney General, Siromi Turaga

Attorney General, Siromi Turaga confirms that the Fijian Elections Office will be conducting an internal audit of the Results Management Information System which governed the results process of the 2022 general election.

Turaga says this is to identify the issues surrounding the 'glitch' situation that occurred on election day last year.

He says the FEO is consulting external stakeholders to conduct an internal audit on the Results Management Information System.

The Attorney General says this is a matter of national interest and the people of Fiji need to know and be convinced whether or not such a glitch truly was as what it had been referred to – a glitch.

While responding to the President's speech in parliament, Turaga says today is the day of restoration as the Resident Magistrate who lost his job in May 2020 is standing now as the Attorney General.

Turaga says the people of Fiji have been praying for freedom and mercy for the last 16 years.

The Attorney General also says the Constitutional Offices Commission under this Government, has for the first time provided a transparent report of all of its proceedings and this is something that they will maintain.

He says prior to this, the Commission operated in a cloud of secrecy, unknown to the people of Fiji.

Turaga says the same can also be said for the operations of the Prerogative of Mercy Commission.

He adds that it is a commitment of this Government to ensure that locals, who are best positioned to understand our local settings, laws and culture, are trained and recruited to the judiciary.

Turaga says it is a cardinal role of his portfolio as Attorney General and Minister for Justice to provide the best legal advice to the President to maintain and uphold the rule of law, and that is exactly what he did in his first official meeting with the President in January this year.

He stresses that the rule of law is simply that no one is above the law and that it must be applied fairly across all arms of government and the people and where the shared expectation of independence is crucial and necessary to the running of any government.

The Attorney General says the Media Industry Development Act 2010 is a highly controversial law and many have questioned how this law came about.

He says he was informed at a workshop on 9th February 2022, that his predecessor summoned journalists and other representatives from media organisations at Holiday Inn and were surprisingly told to submit their comments to the draft Media Industry Development Decree within 2 hours.

Turaga says that was the only consultations framework undertaken by the FijiFirst Government where a new law with far reaching impacts on the media industry, was promulgated.

The Attorney General says this is totally unacceptable.

He says the Government has begun work to review the Media Industry Development Act 2010 with the commissioning of a team of media personnel and experts.

Turaga says this is to ensure that any form of regulation is reflective of consultations, respects the rights of people, removes any punitive provisions against journalists and media personnel.

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