25 Oct 2005

Fiji's Electoral Commission rejects opposition leaders allegations

9:10 pm on 25 October 2005

Fiji's Electoral Commission has rejected allegations by the opposition leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, that there was a deliberate effort to disenfranchise voters in last weekend's municipal elections.

The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Graham Leung, says the municipal councils are legally responsible for registering voters for their elections.

Mr Leung says the Elections Office has no part to play in the registration of voters for local government elections and it is only responsible for registration for general elections.

Mr Leung says Mr Chaudhry's allegations of incompetence and inefficiency in the Elections Office are unfair and unwarranted.

Meanwhile, Radio Fiji reports that Mr Leung's concern about the prolonged absence abroad on study leave of the Supervisor of Elections has led to Semesa Karavaki being recalled by the Constitutional Offices Commission.

Fiji's second post-coup general elections are only about nine months away.