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SODELPA concerned with referral to FICAC

February 5, 2021 5:15 am
[File Photo]

The Social Democratic Liberal Party had expected further discussions after the Party responded to queries from the Registrar of Political Parties.

This is with regards to the Party’s financial disclosures for the years 2015 to 2019.

General Secretary and Registered Officer Emele Duituturaga says it is of concern that the Registrar has reported the Party to FICAC.

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Mohammed Saneem has referred SODELPA to the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption for breaches of the Political Parties Act.

Saneem in a statement explains that in November last year, he began the verification process for SODELPA disclosures.

Then on December 3rd, the Registrar wrote to the party informing them that they had discovered various discrepancies from 2015 to 2019.

The particulars of the discrepancies were forwarded to the Party and SODELPA provided written responses to the Registrar on the 18th and 25th of last month.

Saneem says after perusing the responses and scrutinizing the legal provisions related to the disclosure and maintenance of finances, he has referred the Party to FICAC for breaching the Political Parties Act.

He says the reasons which constitute breaches of the Act include the failure to particularize the exact sources of funds received.

In a statement, Duituturaga says the question to be asked why has it taken five years to be asking questions dating back to 2015.

Duituturaga says with respect to the issuance of receipts, the Party had explained that it has been the practice that for direct bank lodgments, receipts are only issued if requested as both the Party and the depositor have their bank records adding that much of the large sums referred to can be traced to direct bank deposits.

Duituturaga says had the matter been highlighted to the Party much earlier on, this could have been easily rectified.

As the matter is now with FICAC, Duituturaga says the Party will refrain from commenting any further on the matter.

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