Women hail appointments

Acting Commissioner Fiji Corrections Services, Salote Panapasa at her office in Suva on Friday, January 27, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Women in the country are celebrating the historic elevation of two females to key positions in the Sitiveni Rabuka-led coalition Government.

Salote Panapasa is now the acting Commissioner of Corrections while Ana Salaivalu Mataiciwa is the acting Supervisor of Elections.

They replace two key figures in the Bainimarama government — Corrections Commissioner Commander Francis Kean and Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem – who have been suspended by the President on the advice of the Constitutional Offices Commission.

The duo are awaiting a tribunal hearing on complaints made against them.

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali described the appointments as “a really positive step taken by Government”.

“We hope they continue this trend, it is so good to see women of merit rightfully taking these positions,” she said.

“We look forward to ethical and humane leadership in both organisations – something which is needed so badly.”

Fiji Council of Social Services executive director Vani Catanasiga commended the coalition Government “for recognising the key and strategic roles that women in such positions can play in upholding peace and democracy during this transition”.

“The appointment of the two women at such a critical period of this current transition of power, points to the importance of the role that women can and should play in building stronger institutions,” she said.

“Institutions that are key to a healthy democracy.

“FCOSS networks would like to convey our heartiest congratulations and commit to supporting the two women as they take on these roles.”

Ms Panapasa was the FCS’s assistant Commissioner Corporate while Ms Mataiciwa held the position of manager legal at the Fijian Elections Office.

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