27 Sep 2007

Report into 2006 Fiji election may lead to criminal case against SDL party

7:43 pm on 27 September 2007

A report into the 2006 Fiji general election claims to have uncovered up to a dozen cases of vote buying as well as widespread vote rigging.

The report, which was commissioned by the Fiji Human Rights Commission, may now provide the basis for a criminal case against the SDL party.

Three people were involved in carrying out the inquiry including New Zealand academic, Dr David Neilson.

Dr Neilson says their findings suggest that the election may have been compromised by intentional corruption.

He says of greatest concern was the institutionalised racism against the Indo-Fijians.

"The pink registration forms and the pink ballot papers are only for Indian voters and in fact indigenous Fijians have blue papers and we did not have a single blue paper voter come to us with a problem regarding their ability to cast their vote. It certainly indicates some bias in the pattern of problems and that is what is particularly worrying."

Dr Neilson of New Zealand's Waikato University.