10 May 2006

Fiji police investigate excessive ballots as part of ensuring integrity of election process

3:22 pm on 10 May 2006

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says investigations are continuing into claims by the Labour Party that excessive numbers of ballot papers were printed for some constituencies.

Police have searched the Government Printery in Suva for records of ballot papers printed there for the general election.

The Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says for the Vanua Levu West Indian constituency almost 26,000 ballot papers were printed for 7,800 voters, for Ra Open over 45,000 ballot papers for 18,000 voters and for Ba Open almost 30,000 ballot papers for close to 21,000 voters.

The Commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says the Supervisor of Elections has responded by saying that the extra ballot papers were printed due to the lack of data on the number of voters at designated polling stations.

"so that's the explanation we have officially - but in the interest of obviously of insuring the integrity of the process - we are conducting our investigation and an outcome will be known soon"

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes.