How assisting the poor carries with it the risk of breaking the law – Rabuka
Activities prohibited in the Act must not be undertaken - Saneem

How assisting the poor carries with it the risk of breaking the law – Rabuka

Activities prohibited in the Act must not be undertaken - Saneem

By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 12/10/2022
Peoples Alliance Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, Supervisor of Election Mohammed Saneem and Fiji First General Secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

People’s Alliance Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka is today asking what is fair about the FijiFirst government being free to give away benefits worth millions of dollars, while opposition parties must follow rules that make it difficult to give relatively small amounts of special help to some members of the populace.

However Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem has made it clear that the Fijian Elections Office will strictly monitor compliance with the Electoral Act.

When asked on Rabuka’s comments, Saneem stresses the activities prohibited in the Act must not be undertaken.

He says if a party has any disagreements on the law, that is a matter for the party and its legal advisors.

Rabuka asks how can it be that for them even assisting the poor and needy, motivated by a genuine sympathy for their plight, carries with it the risk of breaking the law.

Rabuka also says the People’s Alliance is being questioned, among other issues, about selling t-shirts.

He says roti parcels are also on Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s warning list as he has spoken about this publicly.

Rabuka says this takes Sayed-Khaiyum into the realm of the ridiculous in his frantic efforts to stave off defeat in the elections.

He asks what world is Sayed-Khaiyum living in. Rabuka says the Multi National Observer Group that scrutinised the 2018 elections noticed that government ministers gave out grants and funds during that year’s election campaign.

He says the Group said Fiji had few campaign protocols in place to ensure public confidence in a level playing field.

Rabuka also says Sayed-Khaiyum has a very narrow and undemocratic view of why Rabuka spoke out when he visited the FICAC office.

The People’s Alliance Leader says Sayed-Khaiyum became angry about his decision to issue a public statement and comments and accused Rabuka of not following due process.

Rabuka says Sayed-Khaiyum also questioned Rabuka’s ethics.

He says he know it means the legal right to be treated equally and fairly in a judicial system but Rabuka says he must tell Sayed-Khaiyum that in his thinking due process is not just about correct treatment by the law.

Rabuka says on that day outside FICAC, he had another very important responsibility, consistent with the principles of democracy.

He says he had to follow the crucial process of advising the people of the situation.

Rabuka says the population as a whole has a right to know what the People’s Alliance is facing in the FICAC investigations.

He says the current situation is very clearly a matter of major public interest.

Rabuka goes on to say that Sayed-Khaiyum is downplaying the significance of his title as Minister for Elections. We have sent questions to Sayed-Khaiyum.

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