Labour may take court action to defer polls

Fiji Labour Party has threatened to take court action to defer the 2006 general elections scheduled for early May.

Labour says the Elections Office has not met the legal requirements for the voter registration rolls to be published, properly scrutinised and objections dealt with before polling starts.

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and deputy leader Poseci Bune on Friday met with Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi to air their concerns regarding the unreadiness of the Elections office for the early polls.

Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase is going for early elections scheduled for 6-13 May but Chaudhry says in a bid to rush the polls, the Elections office will end up disenfrachising
thousands of voters.

Labour has consistently claimed a high number of irregularities in the provincial rolls.

The Electoral Act provides for objections to be raised with regard to incorrect entries in the rolls and for the settlement of these objections by the authorities.

The entire process should take 6 weeks before the main rolls can be published. The elections office has not allowed for this legally allowed time span.

Mr Chaudhry said given the huge number of errors, omissions and discrepancies that have surfaced in the provisional rolls, it was extremely important, in fact a legal requirement that the main rolls were published in good time to allow all registered voters
to be satisfied that they were on the rolls and placed in correct constituencies.