Bill passed – Opposition ‘trying to make it into a political issue’

The Fijian Parliament. Picture: FT FILE

The Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2022 was passed in Parliament yesterday despite fierce opposition from the Fiji Law Society, the Law Council of Australia, Citizen’s Constitutional Forum and Opposition MPs.

The Opposition objected to the legislation, raising serious concerns about the “powers” granted to Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem.

Opposition whip Ro Filipe Tuisawau also asked how could there be free and fair elections when they had no confidence in the SOE.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in his right of reply questioned the “logic” of Mr Tuisawau’s statements, saying the Opposition was “trying to make it into a political issue, they know full well that they will lose in the next elections and they are trying to make excuses it’s not fully fair and credible”.

He also questioned whether Fiji Law Society president Wylie Clarke had consulted people before releasing a statement calling for the Bill to be withdrawn.

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