Chaudhry supports call | ‘Commission an independent audit’

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Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry during an interview at his office. Picture: RAMA.
Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry . Picture: RAMA/FILE

The Fiji Labour Party has supported the call by the Electoral Commission of Fiji for the Government to decide urgently on an independent audit of the 2022 General Election results.

ECF chair Barbara Malimali had raised concern that it had been nearly a year since the Fijian Elections Office took the matter to the Coalition Government to investigate the glitch.

FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry said it was inexcusable that the commission had been kept waiting for an answer for over a year now.

“The election was marred by a ‘glitch’ in the FEO results app for close on six hours on the night of December 15, 2022,” he said.

“The post ‘glitch’ results had dramatically changed in favour of the FijiFirst party, as it had following similar ‘glitches’ in the 2018 and 2014 general elections.”

On December 16, 2022, when the count was in process, the leaders of FLP, NFP, Unity Fiji and PA wrote to the then chairperson of the Electoral Commission, rejecting the results thus far announced.

They called for an immediate halt to the tallying of votes and demanded an urgent audit of the election management system.

Mr Chaudhry said he wrote to Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka on January 3, 2024, calling on him to commission an independent audit of the entire electoral process for the 2022 General Election as per their earlier demand.

“I am still waiting for an answer from him.

“It seems he has changed his mind after having narrowly managed to get into power.

“This seeming about-face by the Prime Minister leaves the issue of integrity and trust of the people in our electoral system hanging in the air. I call on him to act in good faith and have an independent audit of the system and the results of the 2022 elections done without delay.”

Acting Supervisor of Elections Ana Mataiciwa said they had been following up with the Office of the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General on the investigation on numerous occasions since last year.

Questions sent to Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka earlier this week remain unanswered.

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