Fiji Sun

Kudos To Supervisor Of Elections, Who Has Become An Asset to Fiji


Congratula­tions are in order for our Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem. He successful­ly defended his Master’s in Electoral Policy and Administra­tion thesis titled ‘The establishm­ent of a permanent election management body in Fiji and its impact on the transparen­cy and credibilit­y of elections’.

He had started his online Master’s Programme in September 2020 with the Scoula Sant’Anna University in Pisa, Italy.

Mr Saneem is no stranger to accolades. His leadership in running successful elections has been recognised by many outside of Fiji, so much so, he had led the observatio­n of the election in Bougainvil­le and submitted a comprehens­ive report to the Government of Papua New Guinea in 2015.

The following year, he was an important part of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Observer Mission to Vanuatu as an observer in 2016.

A year later, his expertise was sought when elections in Tonga took place. He undertook the observatio­n of the General Election in Tonga and contribute­d towards the submission of the Commonweal­th Observer Mission Report. He is credited for building the Fijian Elections Office to what it is today.

He establishe­d the Fijian Elections Office and delivered the 2014 and 2018 General Elections, which the Multinatio­nal Observer Mission found to be fair and credible elections. Under his leadership, the Fijian Elections Office has gained itself as a leader in the region as an election management body.

He did not only changed the face of general elections in Fiji, he also played an important role in bringing about transparen­cy, efficiency and profession­alism to trade union elections, tertiary institutes’ students elections. He worked with developmen­t partners and brought in touch screen voting machines to contribute to the improvemen­t in the voting process for Trade Union Elections.

He also played an instrument­al role as the Registrar of Political Parties in working with the president of the Fiji Institute of Accountant­s, representa­tives of the Office of the Auditor General and members of the Fiji Independen­t Commission Against Corruption to streamline the compliance with the Political Parties Act in terms of disclosure of Political Party donations and the audited accounts.

And, he also ensured that presiding officers are well versed with how to assist differentl­y able Fijians at polling venues around the country by having timely workshops before major elections.

It was through confidence in him that the Election Management Body Reps from the Pacific Region nominated Fiji to the eight-member Steering Committee of the Commonweal­th Electoral Network at the 2016 CEN Biennial Conference in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

Also in 2016, Fiji has been appointed as an Advisory Group Member representi­ng the Melanesia region to the Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand Electoral Administra­tor’s (PIANZEA) Network following a nomination by the Melanesian grouping at the PIANZEA meeting in Nadi.

Mr Saneem has come a long way and with him, he has brought prestige to the organisati­on he leads.

He has come a long way from his early days in Labasa and is a real asset to Fiji.

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