Report – By the PMC news desk
The draw of the numbers for the National Candidates List took place today at the Fijian Elections Office in Suva – but the Fijian Electoral Commission was not present.
Shalveen Chand of The Fiji Times reported that minutes before the start of the draw, the commission called a press briefing where the chair, Chen Bunn Young, declared it would not take part in the draw because the Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, had failed to honour a directive to consider its decision on objections and appeals.
According to its decision, Fiji First Party’s Praveen Bala Kumar was out and Fiji Labour Party’s Steven Singh was allowed back in.
Chand also reported in The Fiji Times that while the Elections Office has deemed the draw “free and fair”, two political parties had claimed the electoral process had been compromised.
People’s Democratic Party president Lynda Tabuya and FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry claimed this after the draw, the Times reported.
But Supervisor Saneem said the list would now be printed and advertised in tomorrow’s Fiji newspapers.
The Fiji general election – the first since the military coup in 2006 – is due on September 17.