27 Sep 2007

Fiji's SDL party says election report flawed

8:07 am on 27 September 2007

Fiji's SDL party says the recent report of the commission of inquiry into the 2006 general election is flawed and not worth the paper it is written on.

Fiji TV reports that the SDL's comment is part of its submission to the Fiji Human Rights Commission which set up the inquiry and has just released the report.

The SDL says the inquiry, if necessary, should have been appointed by the president under the Commission of Inquiry Act and not by the Fiji Human Rights Commission.

It says only 59 submissions were made to the inquiry, mostly by Fiji Labour Party supporters and supporters of those who lost out in the elections.

The report has expressed deep concern about the number of reported incidents that indicated serious intentional corruption, especially involving vote buying, vote casting and vote counting.

The chair of the commission, G P Lala, has strongly defended the report which was co-authored by a former president and cabinet minister of the SVT party, Taufa Vakatale, and New Zealand political scientist, Dr David Neilson.

Mr Lala says the only way to test the findings of their report is to carry out a forensic investigation into them.