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Election candidates numbers draw to proceed

August 22, 2014 8:32 pm

The Fijian Elections Office will go ahead with the drawing of numbers for candidates in the general election this morning.

Elections Supervisor, Mohammad Saneem last night announced that he had not received any decision from the Electoral Commission about appeals and review of candidates.

“I have informed the Electoral Commission that it is my belief that Sections 30 and 31 of the (Electoral) Decree have been frustrated. We need to proceed with the Elections as we cannot frustrate the entire process and that is why we are now going to proceed with the draw as advised."

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According to Saneem, the deadline for the Commission’s decision lapsed at 4pm yesterday.

Saneem said he sought legal advice from the Solicitor General before his announcement almost two and a half hours after the deadline lapsed.

After the announcement, the Electoral Commission chairman Chen Bunn Young held a press conference saying one objection of the eleven received was allowed.

One review of the 10 review applications received was allowed.

“After the receipt of it we also had to send a note out to different individuals and have them be given the right of response to say for example the objections and we also had to obviously send the applications of review to the Supervisor of Elections as required by us. So that took the better part of the day when it came back to us. I know we had to cut it quite short because we were mindful of the fact that we couldn’t deliberate until we had received an opportunity to read the responses from the different persons we were seeking response from. And so really at the end of the day we had to work it out and we really had not much more than two days and over the last couple of nights."

Young confirmed the Commissioners sought advice from electoral experts in New Zealand to assist their deliberations.

The People’s Democratic Party’s objection against Praveen Bala was allowed which rules him out of the election.

However their candidate Daniel Urai’s appeal was dismissed also ruling him out of the election.

The Fiji Labour Party’s Steven Singh’s appeal was allowed and he will contest the election.

The National Federation Party’s objections against Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Mere Vuniwaqa of the FijiFirst party were dismissed.

SODELPA’s appeal against Anare Jale was also dismissed.

However it remains to be seen whether their names will be on the draw this morning.

Last night the Electoral Commission Chair said he had requested a meeting with the Supervisor of Elections prior to the draw at 9am.

However, as at 8.30am today Saneem confirmed that no meeting had taken place.

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