The leader of the People's Alliance Party Sitiveni Rabuka was taken in by Fiji police on Friday night and questioned about his activities during this week as the election body continues with the official vote count of the contested 2022 poll results.
Rabuka was summoned along with his party general-secretary Sakiasi Ditoka around 8pm local time and interrogated at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Toorak for about two hours before they were both released without being charged.
His arrest comes following comments he made this week calling for a military intervention in the country's election.
The former PM was smiling as he left the CID premises and when asked if he had a message for his supporters Rabuka said, "stay calm everybody."
Asked if he had anticipated being summoned by the police, he replied "I don't want to answer that question" as his vehicle drove away.
Police also took in the head of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma, Reverend Ili Vunisuwai, for questioning at the Valelevu police station in Nasinu.
Vunisiwai had sent a letter on behalf of the Methodist Church to the Fiji president on Thursday expressing concern about the counting of the votes and inconsistencies in the electronic results management app and included the military commander and police chief in the communication.
Commissioner of police Sitiveni Qiliho has also confirmed to local media they are investigating two candidates from We Unite Fiji party for "allegedly calling for a mass gathering to protest election process" outside the main counting centre in Suva.
RNZ Pacific has contacted Fiji Police for comment.
Tight race as official vote count continues
As of 3am Saturday local time in Fiji - Sitiveni Rabuka's People's Alliance Party were running a close second to the incumbent prime minister Frank Bainimarama's Fiji First.
With votes from 717 of 2071 polling stations officially validated Fiji First were sitting on 40.2 percent of votes counted so far and the People's Alliance Party were at 36.9 percent.
In third place was the National Federation Party on 8.1 percent followed by the Social Democratic Liberal Party sitting on 5.9 percent only slightly above the 5 percent threshold required to make it into parliament.
The supervisor of elections, Mohammed Saneem, has said their aim is to complete the official count by Sunday afternoon.