Worries over transporting of Ballot Boxes

Labour is alarmed that ballot boxes from polling stations in the various constituencies throughout Fiji are not transported to the respective Count Centres soon after polling closes and the boxes are sealed.

In a letter to the Supervisor of Elections, Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says:

“It is a requirement under the Electoral Act that all ballot boxes be dispatched expeditiously to the Count Centre soon after polling closes. We have noted that boxes are stored in the District Offices or in Police Stations instead.

For example, ballot boxes from polling stations throughout the Western Division were still in their respective districts on Sunday 7th May—a day after polling had closed for Saturday 6th May – instead of being dispatched under Police escort to the Count Centre at the Natabua High School.

I am informed that the same situation prevails in the Central, Eastern and Northern Divisions.

I am informed by my candidates that the ballot boxes for the Wailea polling station, first went to the Elections Centre in Flagstaff. After half an hour, it was taken to Knollys Street where the car stopped. FLP agents were following the car and questioned the presiding officer as to what was happening. They then returned the boxes to the Flagstaff office.

The move was very suspicious and we have a right to ask what was happening.

We urge you to ensure that ballot boxes are taken straight to the Count Centres soon after polling ends.

Please explain why there is delay in transferring boxes to the Count Centres immediately after end of polling, as required under the electoral Act.

There has been no response from the Supervisor of Elections.