10 May 2006

Fiji police search offices of government printer for alleged extra voting papers

9:46 am on 10 May 2006

Fiji police have searched the Government Printery in Suva for records of ballot papers printed there for the general election.

The Fiji Times reports that the Government Printer, Vilikesa Nareki, has confirmed that police entered the premises to carry out a search and interview staff.

This followed a complaint by the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, who says excessive numbers of ballot papers were printed for some constituencies.

Mr Chaudhry says for the Vanua Levu West Indian constituency almost 26,000 ballot papers were printed for 7,800 voters, for Ra Open over 45,000 ballot papers for 18,000 voters and for Ba Open almost 30,000 ballot papers for close to 21,000 voters.

Mr Chaudhry has called for the dismissal of he supervisor of elections, Semesa Karavaki, for gross incompetence and inefficiency.

Mr Karavaki has previously said extra ballot papers were printed due to the lack of data on the number of voters at designated polling stations.

He also said it was normal procedure for more ballot papers to be printed for all constituencies.