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A-G: Three days is a lot of time to deal with issues

Shalveen Chand
Monday, August 25, 2014

FIJIFirst party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says he and former Justice Ministry permanent secretary Mereseini Vuniwaqa were never Electoral Commissioner or Supervisor of Elections after objections on this ground were thwarted by the Electoral Commission.

"The objection said that because I was Electoral Commissioner and Mere Vuniwaqa was Supervisor of Elections, none of us were Supervisor of Elections or Electoral Commissioner respectively," he said.

"We were not.

"We fulfilled the functions of the Supervisor of Elections and Electoral Commissioner. Now if you look at the law, whether it's the State Services Decree, whether it's the Constitution, a person only becomes an Electoral Commissioner or a permanent secretary if that person is appointed by His Excellency the President.

"We were never appointed. We simply fulfilled the functions."

On the controversial objection of Praveen Bala Kumar which was taken to court at the weekend, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the candidate was not using a Lautoka City Council vehicle after he had resigned.

"We checked with Praveen Bala last night (Friday) after the Electoral Commission gave its ruling and he was never rung up.

"The Electoral Commission never rung him and said that were you the one driving the vehicle," claimed Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

"Bala had said under the requirements he had resigned and therefore he had returned all property.

"They didn't ring him up and say that you were the one actually driving, what if the objector had mistaken someone else for him.

"It's not a legal issue, it's a factual issue. There are many people who look like Praveen Bala in Ba, in Lautoka and in Nadi.

"The person who is claiming that, is correct or not?

"These are the issues that should have been dealt with there and then, three days is a lot of time," said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

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