SDL govt. hands out brush cutters to buy votes

Government is handing out brush cutters to buy votes for the SDL Party, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, spokesman for the Fiji Labour Party has charged.

Scores of brush cutters are sitting in the office of the Minister for Social Welfare Asenaca Caucau waiting for distribution.

On inquiry, office staff said the brush cutters were to be sent to Tailevu for distribution to villagers.

“It is obvious that the SDL is using government resources to buy votes. This is not an isolated case.

This vote buying attempt has been going on for sometime – there was also the case of the fishing boats which were highlighted a couple of months ago,” Mr. Vayeshnoi said.

SDL has a record of distributing handouts to buy votes going to the $30 million agricultural scam in the lead up to 2001 general elections.

Electoral authorities must investigate these offences, which are criminal under the Electoral Act, and charge those responsible. Vote buying has to stop.