FEO refers ‘Rock the Vote’ to FICAC

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem during a press conference in Suva on Wednesday, September, 21, 2022. Picture: JONA KONATACI

The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) has referred the ‘Rock the Vote Fiji’ organisation to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for breach of Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding & Disclosures) Act.

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said from the FEO’s assessment, based on its Facebook accounts, the organisation “purely exists to promote the election of Lynda Tabuya and other representatives of the People’s Alliance”.

Mr Saneem said it was also not clear as to who were the executives “It is also not clear as to who are the executives of this organization and even more unclear is the management practices of this organization,” Mr Saneem said.

“They have definitely earned thousands of dollars from donations and fundraising and all of it is purely for political purposes,” he said.

The ‘Rock the Vote Fiji’ has organised numerous sporting activities, hired buses, and sold merchandise to individuals, Mr Saneem claimed.

“The Electoral legal framework requires that all donations to political parties and their candidates are declared.

“In this case, it is noted that senior officials of The People’s Alliance have actively participated by either donating money or hosting events via this organisation.”

Mr Saneem said the FEO is concerned that ‘Rock the Vote’ has been created to bypass key electoral laws that protect Fijians from unfair campaign practices as well as to protect political parties in terms of a level playing field.

“We have found that this organisation breaches the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding & Disclosures) Act,” he said.

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