Fiji Supervisor of Elections dismisses NFP complaint

Fiji’s Supervisor of Elections (SoE) Mohammed Saneem has dismissed a complaint by the National Federation Party including one related to a text message received by its leader Professor Biman Prasad.

In the complaint dated 13 September, the NFP submitted that certain individuals received SMS text messages during the recent Constitution Day public holiday on 7 September. It also claimed of weaponisation and proliferation of sponsored fake news on Facebook, particularly during the 2018 election 48-hour blackout period.

“Following further clarification by the SoE from NFP, it was noted that the NFP only provided evidence of the text messages being sent to Professor Biman Prasad and not any other person or group of persons which would have allowed the SoE to take the next course of action to determine the source and so forth,” Mr. Saneem said.

“Regarding the claims of sponsored fake news during the 2018 General Election, the SoE noted that the NFP uses hypothetical scenarios from 2018 and further stresses that the FEO is now empowered under Section 144A to remove false statements on any platform.”

Mr Saneem said the Centre for Credible Election Information would also be providing various clarifications and highlighting instances in relation to disinformation and misinformation on social media pages.

“Given that the NFP failed to substantiate its complaint with cogent evidence, the same has been dismissed.”

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