Fiji Elections 2022: SoE denies printer incident claims

Fiji’s Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem has denied allegations that the FijiFirst Secretary General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was at the Star Printery, where ballot papers were printed for the 2022 General Elections, in the early hours of Thursday last week.

The allegations were highlighted in a letter by the National Federation Party to Mr. Saneem today querying information the party had received alleging that Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum visited the printery on 1 December 2022 where he allegedly ordered that CCTV cameras at the premises be turned off, refused to leave despite being told by Fijian Elections Office officials and the police because ballot papers were still being printed. According to the claims, Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum only left the premises after Mr. Saneem appeared at the scene.

“I am flabbergasted by your allegations around the information that you purport to have received that I had come to any scene and Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum left the premises on 1st of December as I wish to confirm that no such activity ever took place,” Mr. Saneem stated in his response to NFP.

He also pointed out that the printing of ballot papers was concluded earlier on, with the final delivery from the printers completed on Monday 28 November, in the presence of party agents, observers, and the media, three days before the events that supposedly occurred on 1 December.

“Thereafter, there were no ballot papers left at the printing facility, and were all in the secure storage at the Fijian Elections Office.

“While we feel that your letter is based on the highest degree of misinformation, we are concerned that despite having knowledge of the transport schedule of ballot papers, the National Federation Party has felt necessary to concoct this letter based on the information that it purports to have received in this regard.”

Mr. Saneem further urged the NFP to verify the information it receives before acting on it.

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