Pacific Scoop
Network

Opposition parties reject Fiji election – call for suspension of count

Ro Teimumu Kepa

SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa at the opposition parties’ press conference today. Photo: Mads Anneberg/Republika Magazine

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Mads Anneberg in Suva

Leaders of the five major opposition parties in Fiji today signed a joint statement rejecting the general election as free and free – even before the counting had ended.

pacificfijielections logo 200wideSODELPA, National Federation Party (NFP), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), One Fiji Party and the Fiji Labour Party said they reject the result “based on the evidence available which points to a coordinated and systematic effort to defraud the citizens of Fiji of a free and fair election”.

The parties claim there has been tampering of ballot boxes. SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa said that they wanted their issues addressed before they would accept the result of the election.

Minister Responsible for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said he did not give much credibility to the statement.

“I do however give credibility to the findings of an independent group,” he said, referring to the Multinational Observer Group that has not reported any major problems with the election.

At an almost simultaneous press conference this afternoon, the MOG announced it was happy with the process.

In its preliminary statement, MOG said “the outcome of the 2014 Fijian Election is on track to broadly represent the will of the Fijian voters”.

apj statement republika 250wide

The opposition parties’ protest statement today. Image: Republika

“Open to evidence”
“The conditions were in place for Fijians to exercise their right to vote freely,” it added.

MOG Observer Coordinator Andrew Goledzinowski commented on the opposition’s claims saying:

“We’ve made an effort to validate such claims but have not been able to do so. We’re not dismissing the claims, we’re saying we are open to receiving evidence.”

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said he had not yet received any formal complaints from the parties.

“They know the procedure and they have not followed it,” he said.

Saneem also said the claims needed to be specific in order for him to consider them.

Therefore, he said, counting would not stop, as the opposition has demanded.

He also clarified that counting had not stopped during the morning as some reports said.

Opposition leaders, including SODELPA’s Ro Teimumu Kepa and NFP’s Dr Biman Prasad, met at Cafe Thirty in Suva this afternoon to discuss their issues with the counting of votes.

Mads Anneberg is an Inclusive Journalism Initiative (IJI) programme student at AUT University. He is reporting on the Asia-Pacific journalism course. He is on internship at Repúblika Magazine where he is a Fiji elections reporter.

Republika magazine

5 comments:

  1. matthew kelly, 18. September 2014, 20:44

    These old politicians just want to get their snouts back in the trough

     
  2. waiz, 18. September 2014, 21:38

    fiji first the one,forget the past think of the future

     
  3. Anand, 18. September 2014, 23:23

    People voted Bainimarama and he is winning by thousands of votes. Losers should accept it . He is a capable leader at this stage .
    God Bless Fiji

     
  4. Champak Lal, 19. September 2014, 4:29

    Sore losers , this is typical nonsense by these parties of mass distraction who undermine the credibility of 92 oservers. Who the hell are these people to undermine and question the will of the people of fiji. The tally says it all 60 to 26% . Seriously these people should not be in the government even in opposition. Facts please produce evidence.

     
  5. Celestial, 22. September 2014, 11:10

    ….get over yrselves you bunch of sore losers……….the PEOPLE have spoken and we have rightfully chosen Mr 279…….so what part will yr whining and sore barking produce…….only an added thumbs up to Fiji First…….woohoo……Go Bainimarama You Do-Gooder…..!!