“Is the Electoral Commission reluctant to conduct an independent audit of polling station results?”
“Is the Electoral Commission reluctant to conduct an independent audit of polling station results”
Letter to Editor (The Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Ashwin Raj) (sent 27 October 2014)
This last week I have been in futile communication with members of the Electoral Commission on concerns held by some political parties and candidates that their votes at some polling stations were not reflected in the final results issued by the Elections Office and that the results may have been “rigged” in some way, between the polling station votes and the final results issued.
These concerns are understandable, given the iron fisted control of the elections by the Bainimarama Government, with the banning of NGOs, pen and paper and electronic recording devices from the polling stations.
I have suggested to the Electoral Commission that these suspicions can be and should be put to rest by an easy audit of the votes of say 20 to 50 polling stations, chosen by the political parties themselves.
The Chairman of the Electoral Commission (Chen Bunn Young) apparently advised one of its members to “hold on” to this request. He has yet to respond to my request, although one member has, but not in writing.
I call on the political parties and concerned members of the public to request the Electoral Commission to conduct the independent audit that I am suggesting, in order to put these suspicions to rest.
It might also put to rest a public perception that the Electoral Commission members are “lackeys” of the Bainimarama Government who choose not to be professional with respect to their responsibilities to the voters of this country. The term “lackey” has been cogently used by a prolific writer of Letters to the Editor, Rajen Naidu.
Professor Wadan Narsey