AN elderly couple was allegedly misled yesterday by a courier company employee into voting for someone whom they did not want to vote for.
It was the first incident of alleged irregularities reported as pre-polling began in the country yesterday in the countdown to September 17.
Jai Ram and his wife Satya Wati, both 80 years old of Horton St in Suva, said their daughter-in-law had applied for postal ballot on their behalf.
“A Fijian of Indian descent employee of the courier company came home this morning (yesterday) with the postal ballot papers and opened the envelopes,” said Ms Wati.
“He asked me who I will vote for. I told him that I’ll vote for the person who can bring peace to the country.
“He said only one person can bring peace and he gave me that candidate’s name.
“That man then ticked that candidate’s number and told me it was OK.
“He then took the ballot paper away. I didn’t want to vote for that person.
“I had wanted to discuss with my family members in the evening and then vote for the person that I was thinking of voting for,” she said.
Mr Ram said the courier company employee showed him a candidate’s number and told him to tick on it, saying he was the best candidate.
“I circled the number and I realised later that it was not the person I had wanted to vote for. I wanted to vote for the Fiji Labour Party.
“The man should have left the ballot papers behind but he took them.
“He insisted that he had to take them away,” said Mr Ram.
Chief Operations Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu confirmed receiving a report on the matter.
“We will have to get the other side of the story too from the courier company employee and an investigation will confirm what happened,” he said.
ACP Tudravu said the matter would be referred by the police to Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption for investigations, saying it was the first such case reported yesterday.
Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said his office was aware of the matter and FICAC was looking into it now. Source: Fiji Times, 4 September 2014
Shortage of Envelopes at Pre- Poll Venues
SODLELPA is seriously concerned with the discrepancies in the pre-polls. Several incidences have been reported to the Party headquarters.
We have been informed by some of polling our agents that a number of pre-poll venues ran out of the relevant envelopes or ballot papers as follow-
Polling Station Polling Station No.
1.Yasawa Community Hall 422101
Four(4) voters did not vote at the above station because they had run out of ballot paper. This is totally unacceptable as this is depriving the voters their right to cast their vote.
2.Taci Community Hall 216501
They ran out of envelopes in the course of polling and polling was suspended whilst election officials had to try and get more envelopes.
3.Malolo district School 528801
Polling suspended as they had run out of envelopes. What will happen to those still to vote if the envelopes do not arrive?
These are the complaints we have received so far and the Party hopes that urgent action is taken by the Supervisor of Elections to remedy these serious shortcomings by his office.
People have waited eight long years to cast their vote only to stumble at the final hurdle because of the inefficiency and inexperience of the elections office.
We have just been informed now that because of the shortage of envelopes at the Malolo District School the voters have been advised that the election team will go back on Wednesday next week to complete polling. SODELPA wants assurance that there will be no repetition of these problems and if there the Supervisor of Elections must ensure that those affected are still able to cast their votes.