MOG’s aspirational recommendation on MIDA executed by Govt in April
Commission and Acting SOE recommend a review of the SOE’s powers

MOG’s aspirational recommendation on MIDA executed by Govt in April

Commission and Acting SOE recommend a review of the SOE’s powers

By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 29/11/2023
Photo: File

An aspirational recommendation by the Multinational Observer Group for the 2022 general elections to review the Media Industry Development Authority’s mandate and operations has already been actioned by the Fijian Government after the repealing of MIDA in April this year.

MOG had said that MIDA review was needed to look at the relevant procedures to create greater certainty and clarity for media organisations.

There is also a recommendation to review the operation of the media blackout requirement in the law and providing greater clarity through published guidelines.

The Electoral Commission and Acting Supervisor of Elections also agree to the review of the appropriateness of the commission’s guidelines on the conduct of opinion polls and their effective constraints on the media’s ability to contribute to public discourse and political accountability.

The commission intends to review these guidelines and the associated processes well in advance of the conduct of the next election.

They will also review the policies and methods of communication of important election information, including provisional and final results, and consider a simple analogue back-up, such as a manual results tally board, to complement the digital FEO Results App with strengthened verification protocols.

As part of its Lessons Learned activities, the FEO is reviewing its methods of communicating and publishing election results including the digital Results App.

They also recommend that a review of the Supervisor of Elections powers, including in relation to the variety of offices the Supervisor holds ex-officio, – be included in the review of the electoral legislation announced by Cabinet and scheduled to commence this year.

They say while they have no mandate in relation to the parliamentary process, they understand that democracies with equivalent provisions to Standing Order 51 use them sparingly, and rarely in relation to electoral amendments, in order to preserve the spirit of Parliamentary democracy.

They support the use of the full parliamentary consultation and legislative amendment processes when amending electoral legislation.

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