• Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mr. Mukesh Nand and the Members of the Commission;
  • Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Mohammed Saneem and your Senior Management Team;
  • The Speaker of Parliament,
Your Excellencies and members of the Diplomatic Corps;
  • The Co-chairs and Members of the Multinational  Observer Group;
  • Distinguished Guests and
  • Members of the Media
Miau sa bula re and a very good afternoon to you all.
On the first of November, 2022 in this very room, I, as President of the Republic of Fiji acting in accordance with section 59(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji and Section 21 of the Electoral Act 2014, and on the advice of the Honourable Prime Minister, issued the Writ for Elections to the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission to hold a national election and to return the Writ on or before the 28th day of December, 2022.
I am pleased to have received the Return of the Writ earlier than expected and I wish to acknowledge the hard work of everyone who has contributed to its successful return.
Allow me to acknowledge the Fijian Elections Office with the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mr. Mukesh Nand and his fellow Commissioners. I also commend the Supervisor of Elections Mr. Mohammed Saneem, and his senior management team who have been at the forefront of the entire elections process. The process of voting was once again seamless across our over 100 populated islands. The count was conducted professionally and transparently. The SOE, Mr Saneem, was a clear and consistent voice of reason and truth through every stage until the full and final results were known. He withstood wave after wave of unsubstantiated negativity by holding fast to the spirit of our Constitution and the principles that underpin free and fair elections in Fiji. His professionalism throughout this process proved to be the antidote to the disease of election denialism and distrust that has become a worsening plague on democracies around the world. Vinaka vakalevu, SOE.
I acknowledge and thank the Multinational Observer Group from your respective countries for following the process closely and being a neutral vote of confidence in the conduct of the 2022 election. Vinaka Vakalevu for your commitment to be part of this process and to the robust health of Fijian democracy.
I personally wish to thank the team of volunteers who have been part of the elections process for the past few weeks. It has been a tireless journey with lots of sleepless nights and time away from your families. You are part of the beating heart of our democracy. You are part of history. You should all be very proud.
Most importantly, I thank and acknowledge every Fijian who turned up on polling day to cast their votes and make their voices heard. You are Fijian democracy manifest.. You have spoken and you have chosen your representatives. Your commitment speaks volumes of the patriotic values that we all hold so dear.
The ball in now in the court of our elected representatives. It is my prayer and plea that we keep the interests of the country paramount to further our shared mission to build a better Fiji for every Fijian’s benefit.
In accepting the results, I look forward to swearing-in the new Government, and to the opening of Parliament so that we could continue the work of nation-building and democracy.
May the Almighty bless you all and bless our beloved Nation – Fiji. Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu.