WHILE the Multinational Observer Group’s final report on the first post-coup Fiji general election since 2006 last week found the poll “credible” - as expected based on its preliminary report in spite of the cries of "fraud" by critics - it has offered a raft of recommendations for improvement, including with the news media.
Among these recommendations is a call for an independent watchdog for the controversial Fiji Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA), which had a mixed role during the elections.
Arguing that should MIDA continue its role in future elections, the final MOG report said there was a need for “an independent institution to adjudicate complaints about its actions”.
Citing the 2013 Constitution’s section 17 providing for freedom of “speech, expression and publication”, MOG was in general complimentary about the Fiji news media, saying they “made good efforts to cover the election”.
And thus political parties were “to varying degrees” able to communicate to the public.