9 May 2007

Rejection of allegations that elections last year in Fiji were rigged

6:01 pm on 9 May 2007

There is rejection of the allegations by Fiji's interim Finance Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, that there's evidence of last year's elections being rigged.

The Elections Office says an overprinting of ballot papers and missing unused papers do not amout to manipulation.

A spokesperson says only the ballot papers which were filled out were counted and it is those votes which determine the results.

Dr Jon Fraenkel from the Australian National University agrees and says there may have been administrative problems but this does not amount to fraud.

"The interim government and the commander of the Fiji Military Forces have made such stark accusations of fraud, I mean this is pretty small beer. They don't seem to have yet come up some definitve evidence that the election was rigged in the way that they claim it was rigged. While there may have been many administrative defects, whether there was gross fraud going on, that's much more debatable."

Dr Jon Fraenkel.