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Court

Election petition case a waste of time:PM

December 21, 2018 8:58 am

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has labelled the election petition case as a waste of time.

Bainimarama made the comments after SODELPA, the National Federation Party and Unity Fiji representatives made an application to withdraw their petitions following a ruling by the High court Judges on the number of witnesses to be called to give in evidence yesterday afternoon.

The Prime Minister says they will now focus on governance.

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“We can now continue with the government, the governance of the nation. It was a waste of time, waste of resources. We need to get on the job looking after the economy now”

Similar sentiments were echoed by Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

“We as a country need to come together to ensure that we grow our jobs we have sustainability of jobs we need to address all the infrastructure issues connecting to the water roads and electricity finding more opportunities for Fijians irrespective of where they live”

The election petition was filed earlier this month regarding issues arising out of the conduct, count and tallying of results in the election.

Some of the matters raised included claims of unlawful conduct by election candidates.

There were also alleged breaches by the Supervisor of Elections of his duties under the Electoral Act

In a ruling yesterday afternoon, the Court said it would only allow the first petitioners to call two witnesses out of the eight proposed if the hearing was held.

The counsel for SODELPA and the NFP said he was instructed to ask the Court that their petition t be withdrawn which was granted by the Judge.

The respondents counsel did not object to this, however, they asked for indemnity costs.

The petitioners have been ordered to pay respondents a total of $14,500 for their legal costs. The Electoral Commission has been ordered to bear its own cost.

 

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