As part of Dialogue Fiji's (DF) ongoing activities under the “Building Public Confidence in Elections in Fiji through Civil Society Action” project, a day long workshop on Electoral System and Processes was organized at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel last week.
Held on the 22nd March 2022, the workshop sought to increase understanding and knowledge on Fiji’s electoral system and processes. 40 participants comprising of community members, university students and representatives of Youth groups and civil society organizations (CSOs) actively working on democracy and promotion of civil space, congregated for the workshop.
The DF Programmes Officer, Dzoshua Yee, facilitated the workshop along with the DF Administration and Finance Manager, Farisha Nigar, whereby they took the participants through various sessions of electoral systems, seat allocation methods and the Fijian electoral system/history Walk.
Yee underlined the importance of the CEW workshops in increasing awareness on elections especially as Fiji prepares for the general elections later in 2022.
“Every democracy requires citizen to understand its electoral system and processes to ensure that all voters, men and women alike, are aware of their rights and understand the ramifications of their votes. Voters must understand their rights and obligations, as well as be sufficiently well informed to cast legally valid votes and engage actively in the voting process, for the objectives of electoral democracy to be advanced,” said the DF Programmes Officer.
“Through this workshop, we hope to convey some knowledge about the Fijian electoral system and processes. After this workshop it is your duty as Community leaders to disseminate this information to people within your own communities.”
The workshop methodology included an interactive set of activities, enabling the participants to apply the key learnings from each session in a practical manner.
A participant, Eparama Qerewaqa, from Alliance for Future Generations said the workshop was insightful as he realized that he wasn’t aware of many aspects of the electoral system, which is crucial for every citizen to know about before putting the tick.
“This was a much-needed awareness, as this is the election year and knowledge is power so it is important that we know the processes that happen behind the scenes in regards to how the counting and seat allocation processes work. We would surely use this information and disseminate to the communities we serve.”