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Saneem Rubbishes Parties’ ‘Fabricated’ Count Claims

The Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, has rubbished claims by lead­ers of four political parties of a breach of procedure by the Fijian Elections Office at the National Results Centre.
18 Nov 2018 10:00
Saneem Rubbishes Parties’ ‘Fabricated’ Count Claims
Mohammed Saneem

The Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, has rubbished claims by lead­ers of four political parties of a breach of procedure by the Fijian Elections Office at the National Results Centre.

Mr Saneem said the parties were simply throwing up information to try and derail the election be­cause a lot of people had confi­dence in the system.

He named the parties as the So­cial Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), National Federation Party, Unity Fiji and the Fiji La­bour Party.

Mr Saneem said the four political parties needed to realise that the results tabulated by the parties, which they released to the me­dia in a statement, were fake. He added that they needed to follow a more ethical path in remaining honest and not misleading people.

Party Leaders Sitiveni Rabuka (SODELPA), Biman Prasad (NFP), Savenaca Narube (Unity Fiji) and Mahendra Chaudhry (FLP) held a joint press conference at SODEL­PA headquarters yesterday.

In a letter to the Electoral Com­mission they claimed that there were breaches of the Result Man­agement Information System pro­cess that was announced earlier by FEO to all political parties.

They said the original protocol of results for each polling station was not immediately made avail­able to party agents for verifica­tion and record keeping purposes at the result centre.

They said that parties were placed at a disadvantage in veri­fying and objecting to the results announced on the FEO mobile ap­plication for at least 600 polling stations since midnight on Friday.

“This approach by the FEO is not only not procedural, but an indica­tion of duplicity and gives rise to a reasonable suspicion given that in the period of time this had oc­curred, an increase of FijiFirst party votes had been published on the FEO Results App,” the four parties said.

Referring to Sections 106 to 109 of the Electoral Act, Mr Saneem said there was no law that required him to do what the party leaders were claiming.

He said FEO noted that parties were behind in the data that they had collected, thus data entry was suspended in order to supply par­ties with copies of the protocol of results so that they could update their results.

“It is very unfortunate that po­litical parties have chosen to fab­ricate results for the purpose of achieving some political mileage considering blackout is now over,” Mr Saneem said.

“I want to urge parties not to play around with elections. It is very, very important that you say the truth. Be honest.

“The records of the party are extremely incorrect, highly inac­curate results recorded by the par­ties on their own database then projected here for the sake of pub­licity.”

Mr Saneem is urging all Fijians to rely on the FEO App for accu­rate election results.

Multinational Observer Group Co-Chair Jane Prentice, who the political party leaders claimed had departed the country, empha­sised that all MOG members took their jobs seriously.

“We will continue our role in ob­serving the counting, valuation, tabulation because we are com­mitted to doing our jobs properly,” she said.

She said her team met represent­atives of political parties on two occasions and all the observations they were undertaking would be reflected in their final report.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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