Fijians will tomorrow cast their votes for the first time since a military coup in 2006.

The much delayed election is being closely watched by New Zealand and other international observers who are in the country.

Former deputy prime minister Wyatt Creech, leader of the NZ contingent told the Herald the observers were "happy so far" with the lead up to the election.

"We have seen some of the obstacles and challenges faced by voters, and we believe they are being addressed," Mr Creech said.


He said the election was "extremely important" as Fijians wanted to go back to living in a democracy and NZ was eager to welcome Fiji back after eight years of diplomatic, travel and military sanctions.

Members of the multinational observers group, who were allocated stations away from Suva, were yesterday deployed to their different locations.

Polling stations around the country will open at 7.30am until 6pm.

Under a 48-hour blackout period imposed by the government, the Herald cannot interview politicians or voters for this report.

The Minister Responsible for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum warned of strict penalties to employers or anyone preventing people from voting.

"Any employer who prevents an employee from voting shall be committing an offence under the Electoral Decree," he said.

Those found to have broken the law face a fine of up to FJ$50,000 and/or 10 years imprisonment.

Tomorrow more than 590,000 registered voters will go to the polls.


Pre-polling turnout was good, and high voter turnout is expected tomorrow.