SOE waters down Tabuya’s claim

September 25, 2022 6:02 pm

The Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem

The Supervisor of Elections this afternoon clarified the sections of the Electoral Act that clearly stipulate what is considered as either a vote-buying tactic or bribery, an offence under the law.

Responding to comments made by People’s Alliance provisional candidate Lynda Tabuya on an online press conference yesterday, SOE Mohammed Saneem says the press release issued by FEO on Thursday highlighted that the ‘Rock the Vote Fiji’ organization has been referred to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption and not Tabuya.

Saneem says FEO had questioned the status and motive of ‘Rock the Vote Fiji’ as through their assessment, the organization exists to promote the election of Lynda Tabuya and other representatives of PA.

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”These sections clearly teach everybody that you cannot give anything in return for a vote. Whether it’s service, a volleyball, a net, whether it’s a prize money, it is a bribe. If it is not a bribe, it is vote buying.”

Tabuya in a live Facebook press conference yesterday expressed her disappointment about the process taken by the SOE, adding she will only take her next step once she sought clarification from Saneem.

“I am confused as to what the supervisor for elections is doing. He stated in the media release that he refers the matter to FICAC and yet in his letter to me there’s no mention of this, but he is seeking answers to questions regarding these platforms. Therefore, I will be writing back to the supervisor of elections to seek clarification, has he or has he not referred the matter to FICAC?”

The SOE had sent a set of questions to Tabuya directly in relation to ‘Rock the Vote Fiji’ and the “COVID-19 Maternity Fund’ as the FEO has noted that there may be various provisions of the Electoral Act that are likely to be implicated, constituting a breach.

“It is also not clear who are the executives of this organization and even more unclear as a management practices of this organization. The organization has organized numerous sporting activities, hired buses and sold merchandise to individuals.”

Saneem says the questions sent to Tabuya is to gauge what is her affiliation with ‘Rock the Vote Fiji’, who plans the event for the organization, amongst a barrage of other questions.
The Supervisor of Elections clarified that only the organization has been referred to FICAC.

Saneem claims that FEO has already downloaded the content of ‘Rock the Vote Fiji’ before the page is alleged to have disappeared from Facebook.

Meanwhile, PA Deputy Leader Manoa Kamikamica had confirmed that ‘Rock the Vote Fiji’ is not a party project.