There is no substance in Attorney General Aiyaz Khaiyum’s defence of his oversight over the elections office, said Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
“The involvement of his office in the electoral process is absolutely unethical and detracts from the requirement to keep the entire electoral process free from interference or control by the ‘government’ of the day,” Mr Chaudhry said.
The regime has a vested interest in the electoral outcome as it has made known its intention to contest the next elections.
Simply because irregularities were observed in the last (2006) general elections is no excuse for the independence of the Office of the Supervisor of Elections to be discarded – that would be warped logic.
The FLP has consistently maintained that, to be credible, the entire electoral process including voter registration, needs to be independent of the office of the Attorney General or any other arm of government.
Mr Chaudhry also took the opportunity to respond to Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga’s comment that the military intervention in 2006 was “because of corruption”.
“The rot set in around 2000 and the military acted only after they had endured a deteriorating situation over a long time, putting up with scams, corruption and bribery”, Col Tokoitoga was quoted as saying by the Fiji Sun (8/5/12).
A clean up campaign may have been part of the motivation behind the 2006 takeover, but the ground reality is that official corruption now is no less compared to the past.
Today there is absolutely no transparency in government’s dealings and there is no way of holding it accountable because government accounts and financial transactions are no longer made available for public scrutiny.
But reports of corrupt practices abound. These can only be verified once a constitutional government takes office following the restoration of democracy.