Fiji Ap­pointed Pa­cific Rep To The Com­mon­wealth Elec­toral Net­work

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Elec­tion Man­age­ment Body (EMB) rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Pa­cific Re­gion have nom­i­nated Fiji to the eight-mem­ber Steer­ing Com­mit­tee of the Com­mon­wealth Elec­toral Net­work [CEN] at the 2016 CEN Bi­en­nial Con­fer­ence in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The CEN was launched in 2010 by the Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tariat af­ter it was en­dorsed by the Com­mon­wealth Heads of Gov­ern­ment. The Net­work pro­motes ca­pac­ity build­ing of Com­mon­wealth elec­tion man­age­ment bod­ies in con­duct­ing cred­i­ble and in­clu­sive elec­tions in line with in­ter­na­tional best prac­tices. The Steer­ing Com­mit­tee of the CEN is com­posed of na­tional elec­tion com­mis­sion­ers of Com­mon­wealth mem­ber coun­tries. The Chair­per­son of the Elec­tion and Bound­aries Com­mis­sion of Trinidad and Tobago, Mark Ramk­er­rysingh, has taken over Chair­man­ship of the CEN from Ahmed Is­sack Has­san, Chair­per­son of the Kenyan Elec­toral Com­mis­sion. In thank­ing the Reps from the Pa­cific EMBs for their con­fi­dence in the Fi­jian Elec­tions Of­fice, the Su­per­vi­sor of Elec­tions, Mo­hammed Sa­neem said this was also the first time that Fiji has par­tic­i­pated at the CEN Bi­en­nial Con­fer­ence which had par­tic­i­pants from 39 Com­mon­wealth mem­ber coun­tries and be­ing nom­i­nated as Pa­cific Rep to the Steer­ing Com­mit­tee was a great hon­our. The 2016 CEN Bi­en­nial Con­fer­ence served as a plat­form to dis­cuss im­por­tant is­sues such as strength­en­ing women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in elec­tions, use of new tech­nolo­gies and social me­dia, Com­mon­wealth prin­ci­ples of good elec­toral prac­tice, me­dia guide­lines, in­de­pen­dence of EMBs and voter reg­is­tra­tion. As one of the pre­sen­ters at the Con­fer­ence, Mr Sa­neem spoke about the suc­cess of the Pa­cific Elec­toral Net­works [PEN] Meet­ing held in Nadi, ear­lier this year which was hosted by the FEO in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the CEN and the Pa­cific Is­lands, Australia and New Zealand Elec­toral Ad­min­is­tra­tors Net­work [PIANZEA]. Mr Sa­neem also pre­sented a re­port on Gen­der Main­stream­ing in Pa­cific Elec­tions. “It was also an op­por­tu­nity for the FEO to ex­tend its net­work and strengthen their in­sti­tu­tional ca­pac­ity through the ex­change of knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ences,” Mr Sa­neem said.

“We will def­i­nitely con­tinue to ex­pand on this front and gain friends in the in­ter­na­tional elec­toral arena.” The Con­fer­ence took place from June 22 to 24, and Samoa has also been nom­i­nated as a Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Pa­cific Re­gion.

Photo: Fi­jian Elec­tions Of­fice

Su­per­vi­sor of Elec­tions, Mo­hammed Sa­neem (left) presents a re­port on Gen­der Main­stream­ing in Pa­cific elec­tions while Com­mon­wealth Deputy Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Josephine Oji­ambo (third from left) lis­tens to his pre­sen­ta­tion dur­ing the 2016 CEN Bi­en­nial Con­fer­ence.

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