16 Aug 2007

Fiji Human Rights Commission appoints Suva-based lawyer to investigate 2006 elections

7:27 am on 16 August 2007

The Fiji Human Rights Commission has appointed a Suva-based lawyer to find out if anything went wrong in the last 2006 election.

The commission is expected to hold hearings next week too seek the view and election experience from residents throughout the country.

The lawyer leading the inquiry, Ganeshwar Lala, says the measure is necessary because a large number of voting papers was lost.

"There have been some questions about the way the last elections were held. Large numbers of voting papers were printed, but a lot of the are missing now. They were not used. No one knows what happened to all of them. So that will help people to find out whether there was anything wrong with the last election."

Ganeshwar Lala says the election observers, who deemed the election to be fair, did not know about the missing voting papers because the loss was discovered only after the coup.

It has been previously pointed out that the missing voting papers were not part of the final count and would not have affected the outcome of the election.

The inquiry is expected to be finalised within a month.