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The High Court in Suva will decide on a case between the Electoral Commission and Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem today. The case, which was filed by Electoral Commission chairman
24 Aug 2014 18:20

The High Court in Suva will decide on a case between the Electoral Commission and Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem today.

The case, which was filed by Electoral Commission chairman Chen Bunn Young yesterday, will decide the conduct of the September 17 general election.

The case before Justice Kamal Kumar was filed on the basis of one objection and one appeal. The objection was against FijiFirst candidate Parveen Kumar and appeal on Fiji Labour Party candidate Steven Singh.

The Commission is seeking three declarations from the court.

One of them is that the Supervisor of Elections is bound by the Commission and is expected to follow its directive before proceeding to draw the candidates’ numbers yesterday.

It says Mr Saneem did not allow time for the Commission to deliberate on the objections, instead ruling that the draw of the candidates’ numbers should go ahead yesterday.

The draw was held yesterday morning, but Commission members were not there to witness it.

Mr Saneem maintained he was not bound by the directions of the Commission after members failed to meet the 4pm deadline on Friday to submit a decision on the objections and appeals.

His lawyer Solicitor General Sharvada Sharma said the basis of the argument was not in the court’s jurisdiction in accordance to Section 173 subsection 4 (d) of the Constitution.

He said Section 7 of the Electoral Decree gave the Supervisor of Elections the authority to take a decision in accordance with the law.

Mr Sharma said Mr Saneem proceeded with the drawing of candidates numbers that were finalised on August 19 without taking into consideration the decision of the Electoral Commission.

He maintained that the Commission members failed to notify Mr Saneem of their decision on the objection and appeals.

Mr Bunn’s lawyer, Adish Narayan, then argued that if the drafters intended to have the decision by 4pm then it should have been included in the decree, but this was not the case.

Feedback: farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

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