Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem confirms the Fijian Elections Office has referred People’s Alliance provisional candidate Sajal Narayan, The People’s Alliance and Rock the Vote Fiji to FICAC following the receipt of a letter from the FijiFirst highlighting various breaches of the Electoral Act 2014 by different candidates.
Saneem says the FijiFirst filed a 19 page complaint with the FEO in which it highlighted practices of some individuals during the campaign period directly from their own Facebook pages and such practices are a prima-facie breach of the Electoral Act.
He says while they are obtaining further information from other persons and political parties named in the complaint, the instances where they found that the law has been breached, they have referred the persons to FICAC without delay.
The FijiFirst Party has written to the Fijian Elections Office highlighting what they believe are various breaches of the electoral laws by the People’s Alliance, Rock The Vote Fiji, SODELPA and the National Federation Party.
Party General-Secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says a provisional candidate of the People’s Alliance, Sajal Narayan has offered employment to people in the USA and this is under the banner of the People’s Alliance.
Sayed-Khaiyum says by making such promises, Narayan has offered a direct inducement to voters, and has done so in exchange for their votes, whether to Narayan himself or to the People’s Alliance.
He adds this is not an isolated incident and they have highlighted postings which confirm that Narayan, other provisional candidates, office holders, members and representatives of the People’s Alliance have engaged in vote buying.
FijiFirst has also highlighted the issue of Rock the Vote Fiji Campaign.
Sayed-Khaiyum says Rock The Vote Fiji is no original concept which Tabuya or the People’s Alliance have come up with.
He says Rock the Vote is an American not-for-profit political advocacy organisation dedicated to increasing youth voter turnout in the United States of America. Sayed-Khaiyum adds the clear difference between the original Rock The Vote brand and TPA and Tabuya's Fijian spin-off, is that Rock The Vote in the United States of America is not conducted by politicians.
He also highlighted that Rock The Vote Fiji is not registered with the Companies Office as a business or as a limited liability company and it is also not registered as a Charitable Trust.
He says the People’s Alliance, who he calls TPA, should inform the Fijian Elections Office where Rock The Vote Fiji’s earnings are going to.
Sayed-Khaiyum further says a concerned Fijian brought to their attention the People’s Alliance Bula Shirts which are for sale at their offices for $50.
He claims these Bula Shirts do not have any authorisation details in compliance with Section 112 of the Electoral Act.
Sayed-Khaiyum also highlighted that in the 6th September 2022 publication of the Fiji Sun, one Faith Grace who is a provisional candidate of SODELPA says that her campaign will highlight three main issues, one of which being TELS Debt Forgiveness.
He says to date, Faith Grace and SODELPA have not explained how revenue for the financial commitment is to be raised, how expenditure for this financial commitment is to be made, how expenditure is to be allocated to different sectors and budget sector agencies and if the expenditure exceeds revenue, how the deficit is to be financed.
Sayed-Khaiyum adds they also find it irresponsible on the part of the Fiji Sun to have reported Faith Grace and SODELPA's campaign promises without receiving adequate compliance in terms of the electoral laws.
He further says they have come across a Creative Working Calendar with photographs of NFP's General Secretary and provisional candidate Seni Nabou, which is being sold for $30 per calendar.
He says in the event a donor decides to purchase this calendar, he or she can make a further donation of only up to $9,970.
Sayed-Khaiyum adds the same applies to the People’s Alliance and all other political parties.
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