FEO receives complaint against Minister for Sugar

The complainant claimed that the minister allegedly breached Section 114 of the Electoral Act. 
27 Oct 2023 16:36
FEO receives complaint against Minister for Sugar
Minister for Sugar and Multi-Ethnic Affairs, Charan Jeath Singh. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Acting Supervisor of Elections Ana Mataiciwa has confirmed receiving a complaint against the Minister for Sugar, Charan Jeath Singh.

It is understood the complaint stems from a series of social media postings made by the minister on his Facebook account, where he indicated he was delivering pre-election promises made to community members in Vanua Levu.

In a Facebook post on September 17, Mr Singh said: “Construction of two toilets and a shower block at Namanadamu Village in Vanua Levu by CJS team as promised by me during election campaign. Seven other villages will get these types of projects in the coming weeks.”

The complainant claimed that the minister allegedly breached Section 114 of the Electoral Act.

Section 114 states that during the campaign period it shall be unlawful for political parties, candidates and their representatives, either personally or through other persons, to give or offer to any citizen money, gifts, material goods of any value (except for campaign material) or services free of charge, to sell goods or services to persons at a preferential price, or to promise to provide any monetary fund, gift, material goods or services of any value for the purpose of gaining or influencing votes.

Any person who contravenes this section commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or to both.

Ms Mataiciwa confirmed that a complaint against Mr Singh was received on Tuesday, October 24, 2023.

“In accordance with our complaints process, we have forwarded the same to Charan Jeath Singh today to allow him to provide us with a response,” Ms Mataiciwa said.

“His response is due to us at 3pm on Monday October 30. His response will determine our next course of action, whether to escalate the matter further or close it.”

Mr Singh chose not to comment on the issue.

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