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Young Reprimands Group For Claims

Young Reprimands Group For Claims
September 21
10:42 2014

Chen Bunn Young has reprimanded Mick Beddoes and his group for making “unfounded allegations” about the election.

The Electoral Commission chairman said the allegations had caused damage to the reputation of the Fijian Elections Office and had dampened the spirit of thousands of dedicated workers whose dedication and commitment enabled this election to take place.”

Mr Young said after reviewing the evidence on alleged “corrupt and unlawful practices” that Mr Beddoes and team brandished at local and international media, the claims were without merit. Mr Beddoes’ group includes SODELPA, Fiji Labour Party, National Federation Party, People’s Democratic Party and One Fiji.

Mr Young provided clarifications on each allegation in a press conference yesterday.

On unsecured ballot papers for which photographs of a vehicle FR 852 were tendered as evidence, Mr Young said: “The documents in the boot were contracts for polling day workers and vehicle was being used to deliver them to various polling stations.”

On loose ballot paper with 255 ticked which Mr Beddoes had shown on Friday, Mr Young questioned its authenticity and requested the original to be forwarded to the Commission for verification.

Allegations were also made that two seals on a ballot box had identical serial numbers. Mr Young said: “It is possible that the manufacturer could have inadvertently printed the same numbers, however, we do not see how this compromises the integrity of a ballot box.”

On alleged broken seals, he said: “We are aware that during transportation to polling stations, some seals were broken. In respect of the tampered ballot box, would you please provide particulars on where and which polling venue and how it was tampered.”

There was also speculation that  large brown envelopes were found in some ballot boxes. Mr Young said the deputy Supervisor of Elections demonstrated to party agents how easily the envelope could be placed into a ballot box through the top slot without disturbing the seals.

He also asked the political parties to identify the polling venue where additional names were allegedly manually added to voter register.

The political parties have also been asked to identify the polling station where unmatched seal numbers were noted so that they could check their records.

“ Your earlier assertion that you have been presented with evidence of “corrupt and unlawful practices lacks any substance.”

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said the Fijian Elections Office had a policy to answer any questions made by any political party.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimnarama said at the FMF Gynasium in Suva yesterday that he had left it to the commission to investigate.

“These are allegations of vote rigging. I don’t know if they have any proof,” he said.s.”




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