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Ballot numbers uproar

Siteri Sauvakacolo And Dawn Gibson
Thursday, August 07, 2014

THE Social Democratic and Liberal Party in a campaign party meeting in Davuilevu on Monday night claimed that the first two numbers on our ballot paper was somehow linked to a certain chapter in a religious book.

Party supporter Laisenia Qarase told about 100 party supporters that the numbers 135 and 136 were linked to a chapter in the Quran with its meaning depicting justice.

He told party supporters that upon research on the internet, he found out the two numbers were a part of the Quran — chapter 4 verses 135-136 is on justice and how we should respect it.

In response, FijiFirst party general secretary Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum said the statement showed the desperation of Qarase, a man who could not stand for election, and his party SODELPA.

"His absurd and unintelligent statement can be quickly dismissed by a simple Google search that will show that the word justice appears several times in several chapters and several verses in the Quran like in many other religious texts including the Bible," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said in a statement.

"Their (SODELPA) desperation is so advanced that they are looking for a conspiracy everywhere."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they hoped the police would investigate this matter and that the Electoral Commission would take some meaningful action to stop such disgraceful conduct.

Meanwhile, Electoral Commission chair Chen Bunn Young yesterday told members of the media that the commission would do its own investigation into the matter.

"If those statements were being made, and I think we have to verify that and we need to look at it in the context of seeing whether it is a slurring of another religious belief or individual group and if that is the case, then we will take this up and report it as a complaint to FICAC," Mr Young said.

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