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EDITORIAL: Former PM, Mahendra Chaudhry’s Lie Caught Out At Press Conference

EDITORIAL: Former PM, Mahendra Chaudhry’s Lie Caught Out At Press Conference
Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudary during the press confrence at the Wesley Church Suva on August 16,2018.Photo:Simione Haravanua.
August 17
10:00 2018

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry yesterday showed to all Fijians and the international community why Opposition Leaders’ disapproval of the elections process cannot be taken seriously.

During a press conference held by the members of Opposition parties, excluding HOPE, Mr Chaudhry claimed that the 2014 General Election was rigged.

When questioned to give an example of how it was rigged, Mr Chaudhry said their Party President Lavinia Padarath had voted at a polling station which was at St Joseph’s Secondary School. She voted for herself and Mr Chaudhry alleged that the final voting result did not have her vote in it.

He even exclaimed rather dramatically: “Where did the vote go?”

Minutes later, he was told by the same journalist that Ms Padarath had voted at one of the two stations at St Joseph’s Secondary School and that the voting station showed there was one vote for her at that station.

Mr Chaudhry was caught out, did a side-step and said he maintained what he said and went further to allege that the records must have been updated in the minutes between the question asked and his response.

This is an outrageous allegation and an outright lie on the part of a person who was once this country’s Prime Minister.

The Fijian Elections Office released an app which anyone holding onto a smartphone can download. That app, for the first time in Fiji’s history gives a detailed breakdown of every vote cast at every polling station and the number of polling stations at each of the 2028 polling venues in 2014.

Fijians and political parties never had such data available at their fingertips. Those sitting overseas can also download this app and use it to see which candidate received how many votes and in which areas.

What a shame that a former Prime Minister chooses to lie and misguide people. He made these outrageous remarks, which was live streamed on the Facebook page of SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

He made these comments in front of the media during a press conference. What else is he saying when the media is not watching and holding him accountable?

What makes this worse is that Mr Chaudhry decided not to correct himself, not to apologise, but went ahead to say that he maintained what he said.

This is ridiculous on the part of a politician, but this is a sad reality of the types of lies being spread in Fiji.



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