Fijian Election

Police seek to curb political thuggery

November 21, 2022 5:50 am

[File Photo]

The Fiji Police Force has noted that a number of acts of vandalism and intimidation targeting only FijiFirst Party has been reported.

Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho says these range from damaging FijiFirst billboards, banners and campaign material on vehicles, verbal and physical intimidation of its supporters, and hate posts on social media.

Qiliho has reminded Fijians that such acts of vandalism, intimidation and political thuggery carry heavy penalties under Fijian laws.

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Since such acts fall under electoral offences, the Police Force will collaborate with Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption to conduct investigations.

Qiliho says FICAC, after final assessment, will institute possible prosecution.

The Fiji Police Force has assured political parties, candidates and supporters that they will provide a safe, secure and conducive environment to enable Fijians to freely exercise their political rights.

Qiliho has instructed the public to report any threats of violence, intimidation and damage to property to any nearest police station.

A stern warning to perpetrators that police would thoroughly investigate the criminal cases and leave no stone unturned.

He has informed all political parties that it is equally their responsibility to ensure that none of their respective leaders, party officials or supporters engage in any acts of vandalism, intimidation or damage to property.

The Fiji Police Force will continue to monitor all political activities to ensure that we have a safe democratic environment for the conduct of free and fair elections.

The Chief Operations Officer ACP Abdul Khan and Commanding Officer Police Special Response Unit Senior Superintendent of Police Livai Driu have this past week visited a number of political parties to personally deliver the assurance of Fiji Police that all necessary safety and security measures are being adopted to ensure political parties, candidates and supporters are able to freely exercise their political rights as guaranteed under the Fijian Constitution.