Fijians living in Fiji and overseas are preparing for the 2022 General Election to exercise their voting rights to elect 55 members of the Parliament. The 2022 general election will be Fiji’s third democratic election under the 2013 Constitution. Elections in Fiji take place every four years. The Fijian Elections Office (FEO), an independent election management body responsible for elections, has completed its preparation for the 2022 election. The Elections Commission (EC) assures all Fijians that they are ready. 

The Fijian Electoral System 

With a modified Open List Proportional System, Fijians elect its members of the Parliament, and each voter has one vote. Members of the Parliament are chosen by secret ballot, and Fijians above the age of 18 years are registered to cast their votes during the election. 

The 2014 – 2018 Election 

The open list proportional system was used for the first time in Fiji for the 2014 election, which was on the 17th of September. 50 candidates were elected as the members of the Parliament; the FijiFirst party won the election by 293,544 votes and secured 32 seats, while 15 seats were secured by Social Democrat Liberal Party (SODELPA) and 3 seats by the National Federation Party (NFP). On 14th November 2018, the FijiFirst party won again by 227,241 votes and secured 27 seats. SODELPA secured 21 seats and 3 seats were secured by NFP, making it 51 elected members of the Parliament. With that, the FijiFirst party leader, Hon. Josaia Voreqe Frank Bainimarama has served Fiji as the Prime Minister for 16 years, since taking control in 2016. 

The 2022 General Election in Fiji:

Registration of Political Parties – there are nine registered political parties contesting in this year’s election. They are : FijiFirst Party, National Federation Party, Social Democratic Liberal Party, Fiji Labour Party, The People’s Alliance Party, New Generation Party, All People’s Party, Unity Fiji and We Unity Fiji Party.

Nationwide Voter Registration Drive 

One needs to be registered before casting votes, and their name should be on the election day’s voter list. Over the past months, the Fijian Elections Office staff have been providing the upgrade, update and new registration of voter card services to the Fijians. The green coloured voter card that Fijians used to cast votes in the 2014 – 2018 election has expired, so Fijians need to upgrade to a blue voter card. 

Individuals who are 18 years old have to fill out the new registration forms to register and receive their voter cards. Fijians are also urged to update their blue voter card for any name change, change in residential address, correction in the date of birth and replacement of lost/stolen EVR card. With the issuance of writ of the election on 31st October by His Excellency the President Fiji is officially in Election mode, followed by the ceasing of nationwide registration drive. However, the Supervisor of Elections has announced that their 20 voter services center in Fiji will be providing services to individuals who have lost their voter card until elections day. No new registration or update of voter card services will be provided. 

Registered Voters – as of 28th October 2022, a total of 692,918 voters have been registered. 297,649 from Central Division, 260,801 from Western Division, 26,359 from Eastern Division, 99,658 from Northern Division and 9,448 from Overseas. Out of the 692,918 voters, 345,118 are female and 347,800 are male. 

Fiji Elections Voting Methods

  1. Postal Voting – postal voting is for those Fijian who will be away from their usual place of residence. These are the people who live outside of Fiji or will be outside of Fiji on the polling day, individuals who are seriously ill and cannot make it to their assigned polling station, persons not able to cast their vote due to religious beliefs or work commitments and any individual under pre-trial detention or sentence of imprisonment. Fijians are urged to register themselves for postal voting using the link provided on the Fijian Elections Office website. 
  2. Pre-Poll voting – this service is available to individuals who reside in remote areas in Fiji where voting population is small, to the residents of a nursing home or health care facility, to the members of the disciplined forces in Fiji and those under pre-trial detention or in remand awaiting to be given sentence of imprisonment. 
  3. Election day voting – others will be casting their votes at their assigned polling station which will start from 7:30am – 6pm. People can visit their station anytime between the given time. The list of polling venues for the election day is available on the FEO website. Fijians can also text their voter number to 1500 and receive their polling station venues. 

How to vote – inside the polling station, Fijians will be given a Voter Instruction Booklet (VIB) and a ballot paper each. The ballot paper will have the numbers of all the candidates in the election. Use the Voter Instruction Booklet to find the number of the candidate you wish to vote for, then circle, tick or cross the number of the candidate of your choice on the ballot paper. If you make a mistake, you can ask for another ballot paper from the Presiding Officer. Take your time to cast your vote, as more ballot papers will not be given out.

When is the Fiji election?

The 2022 general election will be on Wednesday, 14th December 2022. Fijians are urged to exercise their voting rights to elect candidates of their choice. With 32 days remaining, Fijians are expecting that their elected members will bring changes to key areas such as employment, development and education. With the current government, education for primary and secondary students is free, along with a free bus fare assistance scheme for students whose family’s combined income is $16,000 or less. Tertiary students are studying under the government’s TELS and TOPPERS schemes. The employment ministry is working to create job opportunities for all Fijians and Social welfare assistance for destitute families and individuals. 

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