Aug. 28, 2013, 1:29 p.m.
Fiji: The final version of the new constitution of Fiji has been released to the public ahead of its expected assent on September 6, 2013. The new constitution will replace the constitution drafted in 1997, which was abrogated in 2009 following the 2006 coup. The new constitution paves the way for new elections by September 30, 2014. As per the new constitution, the voting system in Fiji will be changed. Forthwith, the Parliament will be a unicameral body with 50 seats, an increase from the 45 seat Parliament proposed in the draft constitution. Members of Parliament will now be elected by proportional representation in one nationwide electoral constituency. Following parliamentary elections, the leader of the party with the most seats in Parliament will become the country’s Prime Minister. Iraq: The Federal Supreme Court overturned a law passed in January that would limit the President, Prime Minister, and Speaker of Parliament to two terms. The law was overturned by the Court as the law had not been proposed by the cabinet, and instead originated from the Parliament. This development would allow current Prime Minister Nuri AL-MALIKI to run for a third term in next year’s elections. Northern Ireland: With European Parliament elections coming in May 2014, election officials have begun a voter registration drive in Northern Ireland. Over 1,000 staff from the Election Office are going door-to-door to deliver voter registration forms, in an effort to ensure the most up to date voter register ahead of the elections. The deadline to return the forms is September 27, 2013, which will allow for the publication of the voter register by December 2013. The effort to update the voter register follows on the heels of a report in November that showed that as many as one in five entries on the register were no longer accurate.