SODELPA to remove material after breach

June 24, 2022 4:30 pm

[File Photo]

The Social Democratic Liberal Party has confirmed that it will abide by the directive issued by the Fijian Elections Office this afternoon.

This is after the FEO found that SODELPA has breached Section 116 of the Electoral Act in failing to immediately publish the sources of funding for its proposed initiatives as part of its campaign for the 2022 General Election.

Section 116 (4C) of the Electoral Act states that any promises made by a party or persons representing the party make a financial commitment, it must provide clear financial mechanisms.

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Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem says given that the breach has continued from as early as April 30, he today exercised powers under Section 116(4)(a) and directed SODELPA to remove the said campaign materials before 7pm on 24 June 2022.

SODELPA has also been referred to Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption for breach of the Electoral Act provisions.

SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka confirms they are now in the process of removing the materials from the locations it has been published.

Gavoka claims they had consulted the FEO previously regarding campaign laws and were given the green light to go ahead, however, they are ready to furnish their books should the Elections Office have queries.

The SODELPA leader says the campaign law stipulations regarding fundraising are confusing to them, and they will be seeking further clarification.

Gavoka says they are already in Nadroga preparing for their Annual General Meeting which is on tomorrow and this will continue despite the latest setback.