30 Mar 2006

Fiji police investigate allegations into vote buying

8:01 am on 30 March 2006

Fiji police have begun investigations into complaints of alleged vote buying by certain political parties in the lead up to the May general election.

Radio Legend reports that the police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has confirmed that the deputy leader of the Fiji Labour Party, Poseci Bune, has lodged an official complaint citing breaches of the Electoral Act.

Mr Hughes says police have commenced a Criminal Investigation Department inquiry paper and have obtained a detailed statement from Mr Bune.

He says they are now into other stages of the inquiry.

Mr Hughes says they have had complaints about office holders in political parties, public servants and the military all of which are in either the assessment stage or under investigation.

Mr Bune says he has proof that people are being offered bribes by caretaker ministers under the guise of assistance schemes in an attempt to buy votes.

Fiji's electoral laws provide for a fine of 6-thousand US dollars and 2 years in prison for anyone found guilty of trying to influence the vote of another person.