Democratic Development in Melanesia Webinar Series 2021

31 March 2021
12:00 AEST; 13:00 Fiji Time

The 2013 Constitution and related electoral legal framework, introduced substantial changes to Fiji’s electoral system and processes, marking departure from previous constitutions since gaining independence in 1970. These changes also brought about new expectations, anxieties and at times also suspicions. This Webinar is intended to help iron out misunderstandings and misgivings about the current electoral system in Fiji.

The topic for this webinar is "Electoral System of Fiji- Ballot Design and Electoral Formula". Fiji’s Open-List Proportional Representation (OLPR) electoral system uses the D’Hondt method for allocating seats to political parties contesting in the elections. D’Hondt is the most frequent seat allocation method, used among countries that use OLPR for their major national legislative body (Wall 2020). There are calls by political parties to change the seat allocation method, thus this webinar will be discussing more on these methods and basically how it works or are calculated. It will also investigate the advantages and disadvantages of the D’Hondt method and its suitability for Fiji.

Another concern raised by several contesting parties and candidates is on the design of the ballot paper, which essentially is a grid of numbers, as mandated by the Electoral Decree of 2014. Concerns have been raised that this design, which does not provide any details of party affiliation, is making it difficult for voters to accurately express their political choices. Calls have been made to include elements such as party symbols, candidate’s names and even photographs on the ballot paper. The online discussion will investigate the design of the current ballot paper and how it meets the international electoral norms and practices. The discussions will also investigate ways to improve the existing design and whether it would be feasible to make changes ahead of the 2022 elections.

The Webinar will take place on 31 March 2021, from 13:00 to 14:00 Fiji Time and is accessible via a link that will be shared upon registration.

-The speaker will be: Alan Wall, Senior Global Election Expert

-The moderator will be: Nilesh Lal, Executive Director, Dialogue Fiji






For more information about this webinar, please contact Reijieli Marama: