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Electoral Commission Dismisses NFP Complaint Against Sareem

The Electoral Commission while responding to the complaint yesterday noted that the allegations were without any merit and the Electoral Commission found that Mr Sareem was acting in his personal/private capacity and there was no vote buying taking place under the said platform.
21 Oct 2022 09:53
Electoral Commission Dismisses NFP Complaint Against Sareem
Mohammed Sareem.

The Electoral Commission has dismissed a complaint lodged by the National Federation Party in relation to a Mohammed Sareem.

The NFP had alleged that Mr Sareem was in the conduct of vote buying for FijiFirst through his TikTok platform named Rajdhani2022.

The Electoral Commission while responding to the complaint yesterday noted that the allegations were without any merit and the Electoral Commission found that Mr Sareem was acting in his personal/private capacity and there was no vote buying taking place under the said platform.

In dismissing the complaint, the Electoral Commission noted that every individual had the right to political participation and that Mr Sareem was simply hosting a TikTok.

The commission did not find that he was part of or represented any political party.

 

Letter to NFP

In a letter to the of NFP general secretary Seini Nabou, the Electoral Commission chairperson Mukesh Nand said the commission forwarded the complaint to the respondent (Mr Sareem) on October 11 and the respondent provided a response on October 14, 2022.

Mr Nand said in the respondent’s response, highlighted the following pertinent points:

  • The respondent is not a representative of FijiFirst and he is acting in his own individual capacity, nThe respond- ent is entitled to exercise his freedom of speech and right to political participation as enshrined in the Constitution.
  • The respondent runs the TikTok page known as ‘Rajdhani2022’ which does not represent any political party. This is a channel for ‘open and frank discussions regarding the past, present and future of our (Fiji’s) democracy
  • The respondent demands that the commission protect his rights to political participation. He claims ‘if ordinary citizens like me cannot speak freely, where is the freedom of expression.

 

Not A Volunteer

Mr Nand also confirmed that the FijiFirst, has confirmed that the respondent was not a volunteer, employee, office holder or engaged by the party.

“The commission has carefully analysed the complaint and the response from the respondent,” Mr Nand said.

“The commission accepts that the respondent is not a representative of any political party.”

 

“He is a private individual who operates a social media account which is a platform for political discourse.”

“The commission also notes the claim that the respondent has paid a speaker on his platform, however, there is no evidence provided by the NFP that the respondent invited the person to vote for FijiFirst.”

“The respondent, in denying the allegation, also points out that the money was sent via the account that recorded the TikTok.”

“We do not find any credibility in this part of the NFP’s complaint.”

 

Story by: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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