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Fiji Time: 11:59 PM on Sunday 21 September

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Media role important

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, May 09, 2014

PRESS statements made by the National Federation Party and the Fiji Labour Party about his involvement in the political process as the Minister for Elections and his position as the general secretary for the proposed Fiji First political organisation encapsulates gutter politics, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He said the onus was on the media to study previous constitutions and elections processes and to get the correct information out to the public.

"Ministers have been responsible for the Elections Office," he said.

"Who was responsible for the 2006 elections?

Laisenia Qarase. He was the leader of the SDL party.

"Did the NFP say it was a conflict of interest? Did the Labour Party then say it was a conflict of interest? Who was the minister responsible for elections for the 2001 elections? Laisenia Qarase. Did the NFP or Labour say it was a conflict of interest?

"Who was minister responsible for elections in 1999? Sitiveni Rabuka. He was the leader of the SVT. Did NFP and Labour say it was a conflict of interest? No.

"So why are they saying it now."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the role of the media in the lead-up to the September polls was critical.

"The media needs to also smarten up about this.

"We're not going to be in the process of responding to every single press statement they issue because 99 per cent of that is not even worth responding to.

"The media can make up its own mind, the media has all the facts available, please refer to Hansard reports, look at the previous constitutions."


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