Fiji Elections 2022: SOE refers SODELPA to FICAC

Fiji’s Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem has directed the country’s main opposition party, SODELPA, to remove its campaign materials, and referred it to the local elections investigatory authority for breaching the country’s electoral campaign rules.

In a statement, Saneem said the party was in breach of Section 116 of the Electoral Act in that it did not “‘immediately’ publish the sources of funding for its proposed initiatives as part of its campaign for the 2022 General Election.”

The latest development comes two days after the governing FijiFirst party announced it had filed a complaint against SODELPA for not complying with rules governing electoral campaigns “where a number of promises have been made but they have not stated where they will get the funding from”.

Saneem said that since the commencement of the campaign period on 26 April, the FEO and the Electoral Commission had emphasized to all parties to adhere to the campaign rules.

“And in this case, we found that despite publishing most of its campaign promises as early as 30 April 2022, SODELPA has failed to specify how they are going to fund the promises till to date,” he said. “The law requires the political party to do so ‘immediately.’

“Given that the breach has continued from as early as 30 April 2022, the Supervisor has today exercised powers under Section 116(4)(a) and directed SODELPA to remove the said campaign materials before 7pm on 24 June 2022.”

In a brief email a short while ago, SODELPA said their general secretary “has responded accordingly.”

Section 116 (4C) of the Electoral Act states that:


(a) a political party;

(b) a candidate for election to Parliament; or

(c) any other person representing, or acting under the direction of, the political party or candidate, makes a financial commitment, whether orally or in writing, the political party, candidate or other person must immediately provide a written explanation setting out the following information—

  • how revenue for the financial commitment is to be raised;
  • how expenditure for the financial commitment is to be made;
  • how expenditure is to be allocated to different sectors and budget sector agencies; and
  • if expenditure exceeds revenue, how the deficit is to be financed.”

This is the second entity that FEO has referred to FICAC today for breach of the same act. Earlier on, it referred Unity Fiji rep and provisional candidate Ratu Jope Naucabalavu to FICAC for a ‘probable’ breach of section 114. The section prohibits any party, candidate, or reps from making offerings of any sort to anyone “for the purposes of gaining or influencing votes during the campaign period.

Foodie Night 1327x198 ad(1)
Top Stories