Deputy leaders referred to FICAC as FEO dismisses PA complaints

The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) has referred People’s Alliance party deputy leaders Lynda Tabuya and Daniel Lobendahn to FICAC and dismissed the party’s complaints against the governing FijiFirst party.

In a statement, Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said Ms Tabuya and Mr Lobendahn were referred to FICAC for probable breaches of Sections 114, Section 116(3)(h), and Section 140 of the Electoral Act over their alleged involvement with the Rock The Vote Fiji initiative.

“In concluding its [inquiries] into Rock The Vote Fiji, [it found] that the organization was purely created with the purpose of undermining and circumventing the provisions of the Electoral Act which prohibited the giving of gifts and bribery by political parties and their representatives.”

The FEO also noted that there were various agencies, institutions, businesses, and clubs that were engaged by Rock The Vote Fiji for the provision of various sporting activities and awards and prizes.

“We wish to reiterate that companies and businesses are not allowed to donate to political parties and candidates in the general election and there are severe penalties for any businesses that engage in such conduct,” Mr Saneem said.

Complaints against FijiFirst

In dismissing the party’s complaints against FijiFirst, Mr Saneem says they were misconceived in law and without merit.

In a statement, the FEO said that the activities that were complained about by the People’s Alliance were actually screenshots of persons performing their functions in their official capacities.

“The projects being delivered or handed over are directly based on the annual budget of government ministries that has been duly approved by Parliament and these activities are not funded or facilitated by the political party or privately by these individuals,” Mr Saneem said.

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