Court dismisses Electoral Commission application
August 24, 2014 6:00 am
The Suva High Court has ruled that the drawing of candidates numbers on Saturday is valid and effective – dismissing an application made by the Electoral Commission in this regard.
The Electoral Commission yesterday filed proceedings, seeking a declaration that the Supervisor of Elections erred in law.and fact when he said the Commission had to deliver its decisions on the appeals and objections of party candidates by 4pm last Friday.
The Commission also wanted the Court to declare void the drawing of the candidates numbers yesterday, and rule that the Supervisor of Elections is bound follow the directive of the Electoral Commission as stated in Section 76 subsection 3 of the 2013 Constitution.
On Friday evening, Mohammed Saneem announced that the deadline for the decision on the appeals and objections had lapsed at 4pm and the list of candidates that was published in the dailies on August 19th will be accepted as final.
Under law, the Commission had three days to make the final decision.
However, this afternoon, High Court Judge Justice Kamal Kumar ruled that the three days ends 72 hours after the time of the receipt of the objections and appeals.
The ruling also dismissed the Commission’s application to include the name of Steven Singh of the Fiji Labour Party in the candidates list and remove Parveen Kumar of FijiFirst.
There was swift reaction from at least two political parties who were present in court this afternoon.
Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says, their candidate has been deprived of his right to contest the elections.
We will consult with our lawyers to see what further cause we have on this matter but it’s just injustice, that’s all i can say at this stage.
The People’s Democratic Party President Lynda Tabuya says there is nothing much that can be done now.
The turn of events today, on the grand scale of things is not very surprising but still very disappointing as you would expect the law and justice to take it’s course. But its very clear today that this is something that’s beyond us and we just need to keep going on.
The Electoral Commission says it will hold a joint press conference with the Fijian Elections Office to announce their next move.