11 Apr 2006

Fiji opposition party alleges irregularities in election run-up

3:47 pm on 11 April 2006

A minor opposition party in Fiji alleges that the ruling SDL party has tampered with the voter registration process in the run-up to the general election.

The United People's Party claims that some voters were persuaded to register on the Fijian roll rather than the general or Indian roll.

Its leader, Mick Beddoes, claims enumerators are registering the minority groups that he represents as indigenous Fijians.

He says this could impact on the results for the communal and open seats.

"People have been coaxed into registering on the Fijian roll instead of the general or Indian roll. Now it's not illegal, but they've been deliberately pushed in this direction."

Mr Beddoes claims the government sent unemployed youths into some constituencies armed only with Fijian rolls.

He says government ministers are donating luxury items like houses and boats under the guise of it being part of their 2006 budget for rural development.