10 May 2006

Fiji Labour Party leader calls for dismissal of election supervisor

9:44 am on 10 May 2006

The Fiji Labour Party leader has called for the dismissal of the supervisor of elections, Semesa Karavaki.

Fiji TV reports that Mahendra Chaudhry has put his request to Mr Karavaki's appointing authority, the Constitutional Services Commission, on the grounds of gross incompetence and inefficiency in the general election process.

Mr Chaudhry has accused Mr Karavaki of lying to the nation to cover up inefficiencies in the Elections Office which have resulted in thousands of people who had registered but have been unable to vote because their names are not on the electoral rolls.

He says the Elections Office must accept responsibility for disenfranchising thousands of voters.

Mr Chaudhry has also lodged an official complaint with the police that extra ballot papers have been printed at the Government Printery and called on them to move in and check its records.

He also says he is keeping the large number of international election observers informed in writing and has urged them to follow up these issues.

In his defence, Mr Karavaki says such problems have occurred in the past which Mr Chaudhry is well aware of.

Mr Karavaki says the Labour leader can never be pleased despite all their effort to ensure that the election process if free, fair and transparent.