June 07, 2012 10:51:30 http://www.fijilive.com/news/2012/06/2006-polls-were-fair-says-qarase/44097.Fijilive
Fiji does not have a tradition or record of cheating at the polls during the 2006 elections says Soqosoqo Duavata Ni Lewenivanua (SDL) party.
SDL leader Laisenia Qarase was responding to comments made by Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum about the 2006 elections having 20,000 mistakes on the electoral roll.
Sayed-Khaiyum had said the 2006 European Union observer report identified a number of flaws which included 20,000 mistakes in the electoral roll and 9.7 per cent votes were invalid.
He said they will essentially ensure those flaws do not occur because that leads to the integrity and capability of the electoral process.
However Qarase said no substantive evidence was produced after the elections in May 2006 and those international, regional and local observer groups who studied every aspect of it had declared the elections were free and fair, although acknowledging that there was room for improvement in some of the organisational procedures.
He said out of the 71 seats contested in 2006, legal action to challenge results was brought only in two constituencies and one was dismissed by the courts while the other was withdrawn.
He also said assertions of vote-rigging and election fraud in the 2006 general elections have become a favourite ploy by Sayed-Khaiyum as the country moves towards the 2014 elections.
By Mereani Gonedua and Keresi Nauwakarawa