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Saneem ticked off by Court of Appeal for closing list early

December 1, 2016

Two years too late and it would not have a difference to the election result.

The Fiji Court of Appeal has ruled against Elections Supervisor Mohammed Saneem saying he was wrong to close off the national candidates list for the 2014 general election when he did.

Saneem also overruled the objections to Fiji First candidate Parveen Kumar, but eliminated the Fiji Labour Party candidate Steven Singh, despite the Electoral Commission calling for him to be reinstated.

Bloggers will remember Saneem shut the list down at 4pm instead of midnight, hiding behind the Solicitor General when challenged, instead of taking direction from the Electoral Commission.

The Commission took the matter to the Fiji Court of Appeal, which yesterday released its finding, saying Saneem should’ve complied with the decisions and direction of the Commission.

The decision is an acknowledgement of the irregularities during the elections, capped off, of course, by Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum being General Secretary of Frank Bainimarama’s Fiji First Party as well as Minister of Elections!

2014 was just two years ago and Fiji remains a quasi-democracy.

As the NFP party says, “The fact that the Minister for Elections and the General Secretary of Fiji First was publicly commenting on the case, supporting the decision of the Supervisor and even suggesting that the Electoral Commission take legal advice from his own chief legal advisor, the Solicitor-General, was extraordinary and totally inappropriate.”

With the elections looming in 2018, it’s time to start bedding down transparent electoral practices.

Source – C4,5; Posted by R.Varani for SWM

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