Fiji Time: 4:46 PM on Monday 19 March

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Shalveen Chand
Sunday, August 24, 2014

THE Electoral Commission boycotted the draw of the numbers for the National Candidates List at the Fijian Elections Office in Suva yesterday.

Commission chairman Chen Benn Young said there was a disagreement with the Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem regarding what was the deadline for giving a decision on the objections and reviews.

The commission's decision would have had Fiji First party candidate Praveen Bala Kumar out and Fiji Labour Party's Steven Singh in.

Mr Saneem said since the decision was not made by 4pm on Friday, the deadline was breached and according to the Electoral Decree he could proceed with the draw with a list which included Mr Bala and Mr Singh was out.

Mr Young said the commission made a decision not to be present at the draw.

"As you know from last night (Friday), there was a difference of opinion on the operation of the word 'three days' and obviously the Supervisor of Elections has taken one view and we have taken another and he has chosen to proceed to the allocation of numbers for the candidate and we have directed him not to do so and he felt that he was not bound by our direction because he felt that we were not correct in law," said Mr Young.

"I want the people to know that we are not in support of this morning's (yesterday) allocation of numbers because it does not take into consideration the decisions we had made last night regarding the objections and the reviews. That's why you will see the absence of any electoral commissioner at the numbering today."

Mr Young said the commission had requested Mr Saneem to postpone the draw to Sunday (today) but Mr Saneem had told them he would not adhere to the request.

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