[No 29 /2014]
[SEPT 1 2014]
The UFDF says the Supervisor of Elections has introduced further measures that will compromise the integrity of the elections and render it flawed and not credible. In fact the UFDF believes the ingredients for election rigging are now in place. It calls urgently on the Multinational Observer Group now in country to urgently investigate and report back to the peopleof Fiji.
The UFDF says the Supervisor of Elections has introduced further measures that will compromise the integrity of the electoral process rendering the Election flawed and not credible.
The UFDF said based on eye witness testimony from their SODELPA & FLP reps present at the Elections office over the week end the following irregularities took place:-
- Initially the political party reps were kept waiting for at least 2 hours. Then at the insistence of the representatives, they were allowed to go to the printers and escort the ballot papers to the Elections office.
- During the sorting of 12,800 postal ballots the elections staff, separated all the postal ballots for the military personnel and these were put into two separate boxes. One for Syria and the other for Sudan. All other ballots were put into the DHL courier box.
- Elections official Michael NG confirmed that through an arrangement with the military, the postal ballot requests by troops, would NOT be sent via courier like all other voters, but will be taken by the military and distributed by the military.
- When questioned by reps, Mr NG advised them to register their complaints directly with the Supervisor of Elections.
- When asked how DHL an alleged Fiji First supporter, was the appointed courier, Mr NG advised that it was through a tender process and they won it.
The SODELPA & FLP reps did not see any International observers present while all this was going on, neither did they see any other political party reps present.
The pre polling ballots for outer islands leaves Suva today and no political party reps are permitted on the vessel and neither are they allowed being on the vessel after polling concludes in the islands.
This means for example that polling boxes form each day’s polls will be collected without being counted and held on the vessel, without any agents present, until Lau and Lomaiviti have been concluded.
In response to questions, the elections office representative advised there would be no counting of votes at the end of polling for the islands and that ballot boxes would be placed on board the vessel as it travels to all islands and will not immediately return to Suva after Lau. It will go directly on to Lomaiviti and complete the voting there before the vessel returns to Suva where the boxes stored in the Williams & Goslings storage facility in Wailekutu.
No political parties are allowed to have their security people there to watch over the boxes that will sit there until counting starts after the 17th September, 2014 elections.
The UFDF says in the absence of any clear or rational explanation for these changes and the reluctance of the Supervisor of Elections to operate openly and transparently, by allowing observers and political party agents to be present to uphold the ‘integrity’ of the process, the UFDF believes all of the ingredients needed for electoral fraud are present and the process for rigging the elections is essentially underway.
Authorized By: Mick Beddoes
Social Democratic Liberal Party – Fiji Labour Party – National Federation Party – United People’s Party
Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions