Political parties, agents investigated for inciting racial discrimination

Electoral Commission chairperson Suresh Chandra. Picture: FT FILE/JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE Fiji Independent Commission Against corruption (FICAC) is investigating some political parties and political party agents for inciting racial discrimination and religious vilification.

Electoral Commission chairperson Suresh Chandra confirmed this yesterday and they were not in a position to name those that are being investigated.

“There are complaints with FICAC which has been reported by us and the supervisor and reports are being investigated by FICAC,” Mr Chandra said.

“We are not in a position to name people involved, but these are all political party agents or campaigns done by political parties and themselves, but we confirm there are some cases being investigated.”

Mr Chandra said it was imperative political parties and their representatives keep their election campaigns clean and clear from religious vilification and racial discrimination.

“We have asked FICAC to immediately investigate and finalise all the complaints in relation to elections. “FICAC has assured us that they will deal with these types of complaints expediently and take cases to court where they find there is sufficient evidence to support a charge.”

He also requested members of the public, who are present during political party meetings, to use their smartphones to record such behavior.

Mr Chandra said political parties could consider having their own recording apparatus during their meetings to protect their interest.

“Parties must have their own disciplinary process to deal with breaches by their own representatives and parties must keep an eye on their own campaigns,” he said.

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