Mohammed Saneem [left] and Mahendra Chaudhry.
The Fiji Labour Party is questioning the resignation of suspended Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem.
Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry says he should not be allowed to get away by simply resigning.
He says Saneem’s resignation should not be accepted until all allegations against him, including those of financial misconduct, are cleared.
According to the party leader, he should be put through the due process of the law and held answerable to all allegations made against him.
Saneem was suspended on January 19, 2023, by the President following recommendations from the Constitutional Officers Commission on allegations of misbehaviour.
The Commission had recommended that a tribunal be set up to examine the complaints against him.
Chaudhry claims that Saneem has presided over three highly controversial general elections amid widespread allegations of electoral fraud and vote rigging.
He also claims that instead of maintaining the integrity and independence of his high office, he often abused his powers, displayed blatant bias towards the ruling party (Fiji First), and was regarded as a handmaiden of the former Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
He also states that the Parties first wrote to the Commission chair, former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, on August 20, 2021, calling for Saneem to be suspended and an independent tribunal set up to investigate allegations of “misbehavior” against him.
This focused on an allegation that Saneem, as Secretary to the Electoral Commission, had facilitated payments for false claims by the then EC Chairperson, Suresh Chandra, for sitting allowances.
He says the COC failed to respond. Labor and Unity Fiji then wrote to FICAC, the Auditor General, the DPP, and the Police Commissioner, calling for the case to be investigated.
Chaudhry is now urging that Saneem’s resignation not be accepted until all investigations into all complaints against him are finalized.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka stated earlier today that Saneem’s resignation negates the need for an investigation into the complaint made against him.
Rabuka says if there are other complaints that will be made, then it will be taken up by other legal processes and not the Constitutional Offices Commission.