16 Feb 2017

Fiji elections minister rejects criticism

2:07 pm on 16 February 2017

The Fiji Elections Minister has accused opposition MPs of politicising issues and misinforming voters over the Electoral Act.

A woman votes in the Fiji elections.

A woman votes in the Fiji elections. Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the National Federation Party's Biman Prasad and Sodelpa's Semesa Karavaki tried to twist facts during the debate on amendments to the Act.

The minister told FBC News that Mr Karavaki failed to admit that in 2006 he had been both the Supervisor of Elections and the Secretary to the Electoral Commission.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the opposition was deliberately ignoring this while expressing concern about a possible conflict of interest.

He also said in 2006 the prime minister Laisenia Qarase was the Elections Minister and the leader of the SDL Party.

Mr Qarase has refuted this saying there had never been a Minister for Elections before the Bainimarama administration.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum is also the ruling FijiFirst Party's general secretary.

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