14 Jun 2004

Fiji Labour Party is calling for police to investigate 2001 election irregularities

8:17 pm on 14 June 2004

The Fiji Labour Party is calling for fresh police investigations into the 2001 general elections.

Fiji TV reports that the move follows revelations by the Acting Supervisor of Elections, that all ballot returns from the Central Division in the elections are either missing, or were never filed.

Epeli Rabuka has reportedly said it's likely the returns were never made by the returning officer, who was the Commissioner Central.

The Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the Central Division was the only area where the counting process was completely stopped for a couple of days in a number of constituencies.

Mr Chaudhry says neither the then supervisor of elections nor the returning officer investigated the matter at the time.

Epeli Rabuka has made a written apology for what he describes as the blatant inefficiency of his predecessor.

Lavenia Padarath, a Labour candidate who lost an open seat, says she and some of her colleagues had noticed irregularities but their complaints had been ignored.