Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vijay Naidu, Member Fiji Electoral Commision

The Fiji government recently announced a seven member commission, headed by former president of the Fiji Law Society Chen Bunn Young, to supervise the elections promised for September.

A member of Fiji's newly-formed Electoral Commission, Vijay Naidu, says he is looking forward to a democratically-elected Government.

Vijay Naidu was born in Fiji and educated there and in the United Kingdom. He is Professor and Director of the Development Studies program at the University of the South Pacific, and was Professor and Director of Development Studies at Victoria University of Wellington from 2003 to 2007. He has written on aid, migration, ethnicity, higher education, electoral politics, land tenure, the state, development and poverty, and taken an active role in the civil society movement in Fiji over many years. He has recently served a term as co-chair of Aotearoa New Zealand International Development Network (DEVNET).

Professor Naidu, of the University of the South Pacific, says one of the commission's first steps will be to establish its Terms of Reference.

"What we want to do is move as smoothly and as quickly towards a general election. Timing is of the essence here and we need to facilitate this process and I think the next stage is to get a supervisor of the elections in place and set up the electoral office and we move forward."

Vijay Naidu says all the people elected to the commission have integrity and are independent of the Government.

He says he feels optimistic that elections will go ahead as the Government has made a commitment to the international community.

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