12 May 2006

Political parties in Fiji cry foul over polling incident

7:51 am on 12 May 2006

Most political parties in Fiji are crying foul after an unscheduled voting station opened at Nadera near the capital Suva yesterday without their knowledge.

The Fiji Sun reports that only officials of the ruling SDL party were aware that it would open a day earlier then advertised and were present.

Independent candidates, the Fiji Labour party, the National Federation party, the United Peoples party and the National Alliance party have complained that they were not properly informed of the change.

The presiding officer, Sunila Dawai has confirmed that ballot boxes were opened in the absence of officials from all parties, except the SDL, and that he was acting on the instructions of the returning officer, Inoke Devo.

The supervisor of elections Semesa Karavaki says he has no power to rule the voting at the polling stations now and void and has advised the disgruntled politicians to take the matter to court.