3 Jan 2007

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister denies vote rigging claims

4:24 pm on 3 January 2007

The ousted Fijian prime minister Laisenia Qarase has strenuously denied military claims implicating him in vote rigging.

Fairfax newspapers reports that Peter Foster, who is facing fraud charges in Fiji, was secretly used by the military to record meetings with the now ousted government ministers.

According to the military, party-friendly police put extra ballot papers in the boxes to secure marginal seats.

The SDL party narrowly won the election by picking up 36 of the 71 seats.

However, Mr Qarase who criticised the way in which some of the Foster tapes were broadcast on Fijian television, says if the claims are true then they should have been reported to the authorities.