Fiji goes to polls as general elections begin

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Voting for Fiji general elections begin
Suva, Sept 17:  Voting for Fiji's general elections started on Wednesday, the first election since the military coup in 2006. The country has a large ethnic Indian population.

More than 527,000 electorates are expected to cast their votes in the polls. Mohammed Saneem, supervisor of elections, reported on Wednesday morning that all polling stations opened at 7.30 a.m. without any issues, Fiji Live reported.

There are a total of 1460 polling stations.

Saneem said that he was pleased to see the large turnout of voters at the various polling stations.

"I'd also like to reiterate to voters not to leave it to the last minute. I know you have another nine hours to cast your votes, please make time and come down quickly to vote," Saneem was quoted as saying.

He also advised voters to text their Electronic Voter Registration (EVR) numbers to 545 if they still unsure about where they have been designated to vote.

Polling for the 50-seat parliament will be closed at 6 pm on Wednesday .

Ethnic Indians comprise 37 percent of Fiji's population of nearly 870,000.

Most of them are descendants of indentured labourers who were brought in from India between 1879 and 1916 to work in the country's sugarcane plantations.

IANS

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