NEWS

FICAC Ready to Take on Poll Breach Complaints

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) is ready to take on any complaint related to the election, says Isireli Tagicaki. The FICAC manager for investigation said FICAC has seen
20 Oct 2018 12:27
FICAC Ready to Take on Poll Breach Complaints

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) is ready to take on any complaint related to the election, says Isireli Tagicaki.

The FICAC manager for investigation said FICAC has seen the consequences of breaching the law that has been set down by the Electoral Act.

He was speaking during a press conference held at the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) yesterday.

The three institutions, the FEO, FICAC and the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption, the prosecution arm of the Electoral Act, all decided to issue a statement to highlight the rules.

Officials also spoke on some practices in campaigns to ensure that the 2018 General Election was free and fair.

“We wish to make this known to the public as well as the candidates and the political parties that any breaches to the campaign rules or any breaches to the Electoral Act are offences, we will come down hard on them,” Mr Tagicaki said.

He adds that FICAC will continue to pursue those who breach the Act.

Mr Tagicaki highlighted their experiences in the past, investigating cases of such nature.

He added that the process in place was open for lodgment of complains from either the FEO or the public.

“If you see, feel and witness any breach of the campaign rules during the campaigning period please do not hesitate to get in touch with FICAC,” Mr Tagicaki said.

FICAC can be contacted on toll free number 1322 or landline 3310290.

Mr Tagicaki added that FICAC was working really closely with the FEO and the Fiji Police in monitoring all the complaints launched from any voting station or police post.

Director of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj encouraged the political parties and candidates to take heed of the Act.

“If we are to ensure Fiji enjoys a free credible and fair election it also means that everyone has the right to campaign that is free from racial and religious vilification,” he said.

“It is very important that political leaders, parties and individual exercise responsibilities that to an extent that our speech does not have the effect consciously of encouraging Racial and religious vilification.”

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said now we expect campaigns to intensify in the coming days.

He highlighted Section 116 of the Electoral Act, which focused on campaign rules.

“Despite this constant reminder, we have noticed that there is a lot of discourse in this area,” he said.

“I would like to urge all voters who attend campaign rallies to ensure that if you feel that there is discussion in these rallies that there is something that contradicts what the law requires, feel free to record them and furnish us with the recording.

“This will greatly help us in ensuring that the general election does not have these prohibited actions that are used to garner votes or to create a level of disinterest in the election,” Mr Saneem said.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj



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