Fiji opposition furious at election law change

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the ‘preposterous’ tinkering was damaging the credibility of the September 17 vote, the first opportunity Fijians have had to cast a ballot since a military coup in 2006.

‘It is now manifestly clear that the entire electoral process lacks integrity,’ he said. ‘It is impossible to expect free, fair and credible elections with such shenanigans taking place all the time.’  Chaudhry, who became Fiji’s first ethnic Indian PM in 1999 but was ousted in a coup a year later, made the remarks after officials said all candidates must have been resident in Fiji for at least two years.

He said it was an arbitrary condition that showed the electoral process was being manipulated to suit the agenda of the regime, which is running in the election.

‘Just days before nominations are due, rules regarding qualification for candidates to contest the election are suddenly changed- how can candidates and political parties plan ahead if this keeps happening?’ he said.


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