“Those calling for resignations should look at their own houses and see if any of their party people resigned when they made racist statement and stuff. But as far as the FEO is concerned as a SOE, I respect anybody’s opinion about their freedom of expression to request or demand for certain things.” - Mohammed Saneem, Supervisor of Elections
8th November 2016
REMOVE SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS FOR BULLYING THE MEDIA – DRAUNIDALO
The NFP President, Hon Roko Tupou Draunidalo today called on the Constitutional Offices Commission and the Chair of the Electoral Commission to remove the Elections Supervisor, Mr Mohammed Saneem, for sending inappropriate tweets vilifying and bullying certain media personnel and questioning how they conduct their business, and compromising his position.
“I am greatly appalled at the public tweets from the twitter account of Fiji’s Supervisor of Elections, where he unfortunately saw fit to harangue journalists for not covering his events and covering other events in particular the complaint by concerned citizens against the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.
“This is totally unbecoming of a Constitutional Office holder, where he is supposed to be neutral, non-partisan and dignified and has instead weighed in on media coverage surrounding the complaints against the FBC CEO."
“Furthermore, he is acting like a cheer-leader on the sidelines with more tweets on the citizen complaint and direct tweets to Fiji One journalists.”
"A free media is the cornerstone of any true democracy. The Fiji media is already over regulated and this bullying behaviour adds to the tyranny."
“By virtue of this incident, I will be raising my concerns with the Leader of Opposition to make submissions on this issue to the Constitutional Offices Commission.”
“The Constitutional Offices Commission must also look into his appointment as his initial appointment was questionable, non-transparent and did not appear before this Commission.”
“But right now this falls on the Chair of the Electoral Commission, Mr Chen Bun Young and his commissioners to deal with as this type of behaviour shows that he is unfit to conduct elections freely and fairly in 2018 if he is attacking journalists who have their own job which is to inform the public.”
“He may not like how they do their job but he has processes to follow if as a constitutional office holder HE feels aggrieved."
The 2013 Constitution section 76(3) states: “(3) The Supervisor of Elections must comply with any directions that the Electoral Commission gives him or her concerning the performance of his or her functions.”
Furthermore section 7(1) pertaining to “Exercise of powers of Supervisor” in the Electoral Decree 2014 is very clear where it says: “The Supervisor must conduct his or her duties and exercise his or her powers in an IMPARTIAL manner and in accordance with the law.”
Roko Tupou Draunidalo