18 Sep 2014

Poll fraud claims lack credibility - Fiji govt

9:48 pm on 18 September 2014

Fiji's Minister of Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has rejected five political parties' claims of a fraudulent election.

FijiFirst candidates Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama

FijiFirst candidates Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama, pictured before the poll. Photo: RNZ

The parties have called on Fiji's election authorities to suspend the vote count because they say they have seen many corrupt and unlawful practices during the polls.

Provisional results show an overwhelming 60 percent of the vote for the FijiFirst party led by the prime minister Frank Bainimarama.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, who is also a candidate for FijiFirst, said the claims lacked credibility.

"It is very interesting that they are now making these types of claims after the results are now coming out where it would indicate that FijiFirst is going to win government," he said.

"They had all the time yesterday. If they found any anomalies they should have made those concerns brought to the attention of the election officials almost immediately."

Five political parties signed a statement saying the election was not free and fair and have complained of multiple breaches including ballot box spoiling.

Sodelpa's Mick Beddoes said that the five parties would not accept the results.

"The political parties do hereby declare that they will not accept the outcome of these general elections, based on the evidence available, which points to a co-ordinated and systematic effort to defraud the citizens of Fiji of a free and fair election."

The multinational observer monitoring the election said the result broadly represented the will of Fijian voters.

The election is based on proportional representation so the votes will decide how many seats each party gets.

The seats are then allocated according to how each candidates scores.

Voters queue at John Wesley College in Fiji

Voters in Fiji's first general election in more than eight years queue at John Wesley College, Suva. Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley

Mick Beddoes and Mahendra Chaudhry

Mick Beddoes (Sodelpa) pictured with Mahendra Chaudhry (Fiji Labour). Photo: RNZI

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