The Fiji Times
‘To be conducted under the multi-member open list system’
MUNICIPAL elections will be conducted under the multi-member open list system of proportional representation, states the draft Local Government (Amendment) Act 2023.
The draft law has been released by the Ministry of Local Government this week as consultations are being held Fiji-wide on the local government electoral process.
The draft law states seven grounds on which an elected candidate can lose his or her seat from the council.
They include: if the candidate dies or resigns, becomes the holder of a public office, ceases to have the right to be a registered voter, ceases to have the right to be nominated as a candidate, is an undischarged bankrupt, resigns from the political party for which he or she was a candidate at the time he or she was elected to council, is expelled from the political party for which he or she was a candidate at the time he or she was elected to the council.
“The seat of the councillor becomes vacant only upon receipt by the minister of a written notification signed by the leader and secretary of the political party notifying the mayor that the councillor has resigned from the political party,” states the draft law.
“If a councillor whose seat becomes vacant under subsection (1) seeks to question or challenge the validity of his or her seat in the council becoming vacant, the councillor must, within seven days of the councillor’s seat becoming vacant, by way of a proceeding, make an application to the Electoral Commission for a declaration on whether the seat of the councillor has become vacant.
“If the seat held by a councillor who is a member of a political party becomes vacant from a ward, then the Electoral Commission must award that seat to the candidate of the same party who, in the most recent election, is the highest ranked out of those candidates of that party who did not get elected to council and who is still available to serve at the time of the vacancy.”