Fiji Labour Party condemns the manner in
which the regime keeps changing rules
governing the electoral process
just days before the elections are to be held.
FLP is referring to the most recent amendment to the electoral decree which now places a two-year residency qualification for anyone wishing to contest the election as a candidate.
“This is downright preposterous. The 2-year residency requirement for voter registration was unilaterally removed by the regime. Yet now, they see it fit to bring back the qualification in regard to candidates only,” said Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
In the past any person who qualified to register as a voter, could stand for elections provided that person was not an undischarged bankrupt and was not serving a jail sentence.
Mr Chaudhry said it was absolutely clear that the whole electoral process was being blatantly manipulated to suit the regime’s agenda.
“Just days before nominations are due, rules regarding qualification for candidates to contest the election, are suddenly changed. How can candidates and political parties plan ahead if this keeps happening?
“This is precisely why Labour called on Aiyaz Khaiyum to step down as Elections Minister once he was declared a candidate for the prime minister’s party and appointed secretary-general of the party.
“He is clearly continuing to interfere with the process,” Mr Chaudhry said. “What credibility can the 2014 election have if the rules keep changing at the whim of the regime?” he asked.
“It is now manifestly clear that the entire electoral process lacks integrity. It is impossible to expect free, fair an credible elections with such shenanigans occurring all the time,” Mr Chaudhry said.