Fiji Time: 2:23 PM on Wednesday 14 October

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A-G says it's fair as parties cry foul

Shalveen Chand
Sunday, August 24, 2014

THREE political parties claim the electoral process has been compromised after the Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem proceeded to draw numbers for the National Candidates List yesterday.

The National Federation Party claimed Mr Saneem overstepped his boundary by not listening to the commission.

NFP leader Dr Biman Prasad said Section 8 (a) of the Electoral Decree 2014 states the Supervisor "must comply with the directions and instructions that the Electoral Commission gives him or her concerning the performance of his or her functions".

"The independence of the Office of the Supervisor of Elections is now compromised, tarnishing the credibility of the general election," said Dr Prasad.

"The obvious rift and standoff between the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor raises the question of who is actually in charge of the election process and the final outcome of the results."

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the supervisor's decision seriously compromised the entire electoral process and annulled the process of drawing of candidate numbers.

People's Democratic Party president Lynda Tabuya said it was an absolute mockery and complete farce of this process.

"They (Elections Office) can call themselves independent, they can call themselves accountable and transparent. This is a show of nothing accountable and transparent. And the people of Fiji deserve better. We all deserve better, this is not about any political party, any commission or any supervisor, this is about the people of Fiji and today is a sad day," said Ms Tabuya.

SODELPA deputy leader Dr Tupeni Baba said the day would have been better if the commission and the supervisor could have talked things out and come to a mutual agreement.

Fiji First general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the process was free and fair and Mr Saneem was correct in law by doing what he did.

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