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Elections Office urges NFP to consider social media policy

The Supervisor of Elections (SoE), Mohammed Saneem, has called on the National Federation Party (NFP) to seriously consider adopting a code of conduct for its representatives, particularly for social media.
30 Oct 2018 11:57
Elections Office urges NFP to consider social media policy
Mohammed Saneem

The Supervisor of Elections (SoE), Mohammed Saneem, has called on the National Federation Party (NFP) to seriously consider adopting a code of conduct for its representatives, particularly for social media.

An NFP candidate has claimed on social media that “rigging ballots is on the agenda” after a minor disruption in electricity supply at Star Printery where ballot papers for the 2018 General Election were being printed.

“It is rather bizarre to hear direct candidates for the General Election creating hoaxes and rumours. Particularly showing such irresponsible behaviour on social media leading to the possibility of rigging etc. whereas they have neither taken the responsibility nor the initiative to have agents present at any of our facilities,” Mr Saneem said.

He adds the NFP is now subjecting itself to exposure for pushing out rumours and creating hoaxes rather than taking the responsibility of ensuring their agents are at all locations so concerned.

“We are particularly concerned by allegations made by this candidate, it shows poor patriotism and this also shows the lack of consideration to the General Election as a process.

“It is rather despicable that such comments are being made without any form of repercussion or any form of norms created by the party,” Mr Saneem said.

“I think we have been raising our concerns regarding the conduct of some of the candidates on social media and this is a classic example where one party does not have adequate means to ensure that it holds high standards and responsibilities for its representatives and Fijian Elections Office is concerned.

“The fact is Star Printery has full back-up generator facilities. The blackout in the Raiwai area for about 10-­15 minutes this was quickly resolved by EFL and during this process their back-up generators were switched on.”

Mr Saneem adds that all personnel were cleared from within the printery to ensure that the Fiji Police Force was keeping a close eye on all sensitive materials.

“This information could have been received from us directly, by the agents of the party or by the party itself -­ but it is unfortunate that irresponsible remarks are being made in the social media by irresponsible candidates.”

National Federation Party did not have agents at the printing except during two short events.

Source: Fijian Elections Office

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