15 Aug 2007

Fiji rights group commissions probe of 2006 election

1:54 pm on 15 August 2007

The Fiji Human Rights Commission has engaged veteran Suva lawyer, G P Lala, to carry out an inquiry into the 2006 general elections.

Fiji TV reports that the commission has scheduled public hearings throughout the country from next week to seek the views of mainly the minority and disadvantaged communities.

The notice for the inquiry has so far appeared only in the Hindi language weekly Shanti Dut but not in the mainstream English papers.

The terms of reference say that the inquiry is to determine to what extent the rights of minority and disadvantaged voters were protected in the 2006 general election and whether the processes and practices were effective.

Mr Lala has been tasked to recommend changes where necessary.

But the SDL party is crying foul.

The party's national director, Peceli Kinivuwai, says the inquiry is targetting only a particular segment of the community rather than the whole electorate.

He says the inquiry is in support of the interim administration's plans for the next general election