Thursday, September 11, 2014
THE Fiji Police Force will take action against people involved in acts of political intolerance, warned Commissioner Ben Groenewald.
He said nine such complaints were now with the police, which included vandalism of political posters, damage to property and stealing of banners.
“I have met with my minister,” he said.
They were both concerned about the level of political intolerance, he said.
Mr Groenewald said it must be accepted that action would be taken against people found guilty of political intolerance.
“We will immediately take them to court.”
He has urged members of the public to stay away from issues of political intolerance. The democratic process, he said, should be allowed to run its course before people made noises.
“At this stage, we have received only nine complaints.
“Keep in mind that in terms of the Electoral Decree, these complaints are all investigated by FICAC. We receive the complaint, we do the initial taking down of the statements and then refer (them) to FICAC for investigation.”
Yesterday, three people were charged and taken to court in Labasa for preventing a political party to display their banner.
Mr Groenewald said some matters were unreported and encouraged the public to bring them to light.
“There are not many reports now, but we must accept that there are more intolerance coming to the fore now, cases that are not being reported but there are people damaging the election material of the parties, putting theirs over other parties, putting their pamphlets in places that are prohibited in terms of the decree.
“These are issues that we need to ask people to ensure a safe and secure election.”