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Electoral Commission decision not so brave

September 26, 2014

Brave Scots: Voted against independence.

Two global elections and one referendum last week but which country had the results officially challenged?

That’s right, Fiji.

New Zealand went to the poll on Saturday and the landslide victory by the National Party was accepted by the Labour Party, as was the 55% vote against independence for Scotland by the Yes camp, albeit with some murmurs about trickery at the last minute.

In Fiji, the results which quickly put Fiji First in front by thousands of votes was rejected by the five political parties on the first day of results being made public.

Regime supporters have tried to claim it was a case of sour grapes but there is no denying irregularities – deliberate or otherwise – made the results unacceptable at face value.

Unlike New Zealand and Scotland where democracy reigns, the election in Fiji was steeped in conflicts of interests, biases and sloppiness.

The concerns listed by the parties would never have been put to paper if there was genuine faith in the way the election was organised and run.

New Zealand, for example, would never have allowed the attorney general aka general secretary of Fiji First to be the Minister overseeing the election, or his cousin the Supervisor of Elections or his wife collating results.

Even the pool of cars used during the election was a conflict of interest, and again would never have been sanctioned as acceptable in a properly-run poll.

And yet the chair of the Fiji Electoral Commission has rejected all 10 concerns raised by the parties, ending his letter with the scathing dismissal: “Your allegation has caused damage to the reputation of the FEO and dampened the spirit of thousands of the dedicated workers, whose dedication and commitment enabled
this election to take place.”

The complaint was never about individual workers but about the leadership behind them.

But as we knew going in, the election was never going to be fair and free, let alone democratic, and even the role Chenn Bunn Young himself and the stance of the Commission has played, has been questionable.

Young should be ashamed of himself for being one-eyed: the parties were entitled to raise concerns and have them heard without him denigrating them.

If we fault the political parties, it would be for their ongoing naivety that complaints would be given the time of day. They should also take ownership for failing to go into a Coalition (NFP was the first to break rank), running poor campaigns (SODELPA and PDP were the worst, NFP the best) but the truth is the regime’s propaganda machine was too much competition for them.

The dictatorship can celebrate but the doubts about the suspicions about this election will continue to dog it.

Editor’s Note: According to local media 446,010 votes from 1827 polling stations have counted with Fiji First taking 263, 664 suggesting it’ll get 32 seats, SODELPA 15, and NFP three.

source= c4.5; Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM
One Comment leave one →
  1. Timoci Gaunavinaka permalink
    September 26, 2014 10:22 AM

    You suspend me from your blog so please stop sending any news to me you arseholes….

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