The General-Secretary of the FijiFirst Party (In Suspension), Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has written to the Electoral Commission to review the decision of the Registrar of Political Parties and remove what it terms as an unfair suspension.
Sayed-Khaiyum said that in accordance with Section 17 of the Electoral Act, the FijiFirst (In Suspension) has written a letter to the Electoral Commission and issued a complaint against the decision of the Acting Supervisor of Elections, who informed the Party (In Suspension) that we have been suspended for non-compliance with Section 26(2) of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act.
He said that the Party (In Suspension) lodge this complaint against her decision since it has not afforded, in a fundamental manner, due process and natural justice to FijiFirst.
“We also find the decision to be grossly unfair, biased and prejudicial to FijiFirst.”
“Furthermore, please also note that the ASoE herself has failed to comply with, but not limited to Section 26 of, the Political Parties Act.”
Sayed-Khaiyum said the Party (In Suspension) confirms, as it did last month through its treasurer, that it will provide its audited accounts together with the source of funds – we have always complied with all the laws pertaining to financial accountability using internationally recognised and accredited auditors.
“We also wish to highlight Section 5(8) of the Electoral Act, which prohibits the ASoE from participating and interfering in the discussions and decisions of the Electoral Commission pertaining to this compliant.” he said
“Given that Fiji is approaching the announcement and debate of the National Budget, the Electoral Commission must deal with this matter with utmost priority, since the suspension hinders the participation of the largest Parliamentary Party.”
“This will have an impact on the proper functioning of our Parliamentary Democracy as guaranteed under the Fijian Constitution.”
However, the Registrar of Political Parties and Acting SOE Ana Mataiciwa said that she was just made aware of the letter and that the letter has been addressed to the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.
Mataiciwa said she has no comment on the matter, however the letter sent out to the political parties that were suspended were verified and vetted by the Fijian Elections Office Legal Team.h
FijiLive has made attempts to reach the Electoral Commission Chair Mukesh Nand. He was not available for comments.