#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Electoral Commission decision not so brave

Brave Scots: Voted against independence.
Two global elections and one referendum last week but which country had the results officially challenged?

That's right, Fiji.

New Zealand went to the poll on Saturday and the landslide victory by the National Party was accepted by the Labour Party, as was the 55% vote against independence for Scotland by the Yes camp, albeit with some murmurs about trickery at the last minute.

In Fiji, the results which quickly put Fiji First in front by thousands of votes was rejected by the five political parties on the first day of results being made public.

Regime supporters have tried to claim it was a case of sour grapes but there is no denying irregularities - deliberate or otherwise - made the results unacceptable at face value. 

Unlike New Zealand and Scotland where democracy reigns, the election in Fiji was steeped in conflicts of interests, biases and sloppiness.

The concerns listed by the parties would never have been put to paper if there was genuine faith in the way the election was organised and run.

New Zealand, for example, would never have allowed the attorney general aka general secretary of Fiji First to be the Minister overseeing the election, or his cousin the Supervisor of Elections or his wife collating results.

Even the pool of cars used during the election was a conflict of interest, and again would never have been sanctioned as acceptable in a properly-run poll.

And yet the chair of the Fiji Electoral Commission has rejected all 10 concerns raised by the parties, ending his letter with the scathing dismissal: "Your allegation has caused damage to the reputation of the FEO and dampened the spirit of thousands of the dedicated workers, whose dedication and commitment enabled 
this election to take place." 

The complaint was never about individual workers but about the leadership behind them. 

But as we knew going in, the election was never going to be fair and free, let alone democratic, and even the role Chenn Bunn Young himself and the stance of the Commission has played, has been questionable.

Young should be ashamed of himself for being one-eyed: the parties were entitled to raise concerns and have them heard without him denigrating them.

If we fault the political parties, it would be for their ongoing naivety that complaints would be given the time of day. They should also take ownership for failing to go into a Coalition (NFP was the first to break rank), running poor campaigns (SODELPA and PDP were the worst, NFP the best) but the truth is the regime's propaganda machine was too much competition for them. 

The dictatorship can celebrate but the doubts about the suspicions about this election will continue to dog it. 

Editor's Note: According to local media 446,010 votes from 1827 polling stations have counted with Fiji First taking 263, 664 suggesting it'll get 32 seats, SODELPA 15, and NFP three.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Media sign-offs show Saneem lied about vote counting being stopped

Media reports prove the Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, is lying when he says electoral teams never stopped counting and have been counting 24 hours non-stop. 

Reports from Fiji media teams covering the election show the counting was clearly brought to a halt early this morning, without warning or explanation.

A video report from the Republika team based at the media centre shows them detailing the last results at 6am, just after Saneem announced it, with team leader Ricardo Morris saying "We'll be back when the results continue to come in towards the later part of this afternoon."

Morris also says Saneem has now 'verified the pre-polling and the postal ballot', which would be added to the total votes cast.

Updates on social media early this morning also back up reports the election office had stopped releasing results.

C4.5 was as alarmed as others to read the counting had stopped and would resume today at 4pm. It's unheard of, especially if votes are being counted electronically.

Opposition political parties today rejected the results which show Fiji First in the lead, but Saneem claims the counting had never stopped saying it had continued even when he'd gone home and during the day.

If that's the case, why did Fiji media pack it in for the night? 

The only reason they did that is because the Electoral Office had stopped releasing results, presumably because they had stopped counting. 

Because if they were still counting as he says, why weren't they passing the results on?

It appears the counting came to a halt when Fiji First had a clear lead - 60.2% per cent of the votes - the last result given out this morning at 6am, the one recorded by a tired Republika team before they bid us goodnight.

The results the media teams last publicised were the same ones circulated today - until 1pm when both reporters and the Electoral Office posted the 'latest update'.

So, why where there no results between 6am and 1pm, if votes were still being counted? Can Saneem tell us that?

Can he also tell us why the monitoring teams were not told the counting had come to a halt - as they should've been. 

And can he tell us the total number of votes cast, the number of valid votes and the number of invalid votes - as well as the total number of postal votes.

The opposition parties rightfully now question the results which put Fiji First at 60.10%, SODELPA just under 26.70%, NFP at 5.6%, PDP  3.5% and FLP at 2.4%

The parties say they have evidence of coordinated and systematic electoral fraud and want the counting of all pre-polling and postal ballots suspended.

They also want the verification of provisional results, saying ballot boxes have been tampered with, removed from polling stations without being counted and large sized files have been placed in ballot boxes by opening the seals.

Both the multinational observers and the regime insist there have been no breaches but as they say watch this space.

Editor's Note: Just one provisional result was released today, the one at 1pm. Verified results are reportedly due out tomorrow (Friday).

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Regime party takes lead but voting still underway

Coup leader Frank Bainimarama and his party, Fiji First, have taken almost 70 per cent of the vote but the full count isn't expected for a few days.

SODELPA is second with about 26% of the vote. NFP has less than five per cent of the votes with PDP at 3.53% and FLP at just 2.39%.

The figures suggest Fiji First will get 30 of the 50 seats.

Media, both local and international, are reporting euphoria but it's not across the board - sadness and disbelief is coming through.

Ballot boxes at the wharf, what were they doing there?
Questions are also already being asked about why  ballot papers were stored in a container when it was stipulated everything would be kept at SOE offices or with the police?

SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa casting her vote
Interest has been shown, too, in the number of votes for the illegal attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, who reportedly polled better than NFP leader, Biman Prasad.

Note as well the votes for candidates 297, 397, 277 - did they mistakenly get Bainimarama's votes? They are unknown candidates but are leading their line-up. 

Fiji First appears to have got 90 percent IndoFijian votes and 30 to 40 percent of the itaukei votes.

Ro Kepa's votes will be worth looking at. At one point last night she was polling fourth, then second and then third.

Female candidates have meanwhile apparently received 16% (63089 votes) of the total provisional tally of 387400 this morning:

2.6% of votes for Fiji First gone to women (6145 out of 233005)

46.5% of votes for SODELPA gone to women (48056 of 103453)

16.1% of votes for NFP gone to women (3524 of 21910)...

21.1% of PDP votes gone to women (2890 of 13684)

12.2% of FLP votes gone to women (1133 of 9256)

11.7% of OneFiji votes gone to women (509 of 4340)
Roshika Deo has 0.2% of total vote (832)

More to come but one thing is clear: the Opposition parties should've formed a Coalition as we were urged instead of splitting votes. 

What people are saying:

If SODELPA becomes the opposition, then let it be the best Opposition Fiji needs for Frank's kind of government. The world will not end tomorrow if Frank wins this. There are other means and processes to verify the results, then there is the next 4 years to think about. There's always 2018 around the corner. So don't lose heart. We are in this for the long haul, not just for now. So still keep the faith.

On the way to vote
Isn't it a sad day for Fiji that we were unable to get a truly honestly democratically elected government. 

Again we voted under duress, on vote rigging, false promises, treating and bribery and sympathies.

And this was done knowing full well that they will never be touched or prosecuted because they have provided immunity for themselves.  

Candidates were disallowed at the eleventh hour because they were studying overseas for the past year; NGOs were not permitted to do voter education, the media and the public were bombarded with one party's PR, facts were twisted, pre-polling of 60,000 people occurred 6 weeks before election day and before candidates or manifestos were finalised - that's not free and fair and it's not a real choice when people don't have all the facts.

Khaiyum had it all planned out and our poor people were hoodwinked once again. 

When are we going to learn our lessons in life and not be taken for granted. 

The devil never sleeps. He has reaped his rewards with evil, now those who sold their souls will have to pay the price and that price maybe beyond their expectations.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Is it D-day for the thug?

Before you cast your vote today, think very carefully about the Fiji you want for your children, grandchildren and the future.

Frank Bainimarama is a thug, who has beaten women, including one who was pregnant. He has killed through his soldiers those who've dared speak out against him.

He has also silenced the media, trade unions, churches and corrupted the judiciary - organisations that should be operating independently.

His thuggery, backed up the military, is evident on this video which shows him revealing his true colours to a TV3 reporter while in New Zealand recently.

The thuggery was documented just days after he seized control in 2006, when he beat human rights activists, including stomping on the back of a pregnant woman.

So vote for the future - a future that offers freedom to the generations coming.

With the elections on today, we give you the opportunity to discuss freely the future of Fiji and the best party to lead a new democratic Fiji.

Some basic rules:
1. Please respect each other
2. No personal attacks
3. No swearing or foul language

You will be banned or the chat room removed if it is abused, so please adhere to the rules and enjoy the freedom of expression. Leave a comment on the story as normal if you want to speak to us.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Youth activist names Bainimarama as his attacker

Human rights activist and the youth president of the 
SODELPA Party, Pita Waqavonovono, publicly names Frank Bainimarama as the ring leader of the attack on him at QEB on Christmas Eve 2006. He sent this article titled, 'Frank was there', to C4.5 48 hours ago.

"I looked up to see Frank Bainimarama kicking and verbally abusing me. He called soldiers to come and drag me to the cricket pitch."

I want to share with you a short explanation of one of the reasons why I feel Frank Bainimarama cannot be allowed to run Fiji.

I have seen the true face of Bainimarama's leadership. I know many people in Fiji share the same experience as I do.

Christmas Eve 2006, myself and other pro-democracy activists were taken from our homes late at night and brought to the QEB Military Camp under the guise of a meeting with the Military Council. What happened instead was an attack on all of us.

When I was brought into the camp, there were two things that directly stood out for me. One is that all the lights in the QEB were turned off and secondly was the overbearing smell of alcohol.
Bainimarama the thug: real colours revealed.
I recall the events of that night clearly. It involved soldiers punching and kicking us, and threatening to murder us. At one point, I was certain that I would not leave that place alive.

Notable people at the QEB Military Camp that night were Frank Bainimarama, Roko Ului Mara and Pita Driti, all visible under the moonlight. Only a group of about 15 men were involved in the attack. While we were being attacked by a few soldiers in the army ground, I looked up to see Frank Bainimarama kicking and verbally abusing me. He called soldiers to come and drag me to the cricket pitch. 

On the cricket pitch soldiers were ordered by someone to run over us and I recall been told at this point to keep my head down. A soldier came to me and pulled me by the hair, and started cutting patches of my hair off. I was told that he would cut me up and throw me in the sea – that no one would care about me.

During this assault, there were men singing Christmas Carols by the ground and cheering on their peers. I also recall been ordered to run to Lami and take down banners at the Vugalei Democracy Shrine. 

While we ran, I was especially targeted by three soldiers who kept hitting and swearing at me. They later pinned me down, and proceeded to kick and punch me; they put me in a military truck and drove up towards Nadua Secondary School, where they literally threw me out of the moving truck.

At this point, another truck with a different set of soldiers, took me back to the Military Camp. A soldier in this truck gave me water and asked for apologies. He told me that not all soldiers were doing this and they were following orders ‘from the top’. 

When I reached the camp, I was hurried into a cell; and joined by 3 soldiers who told me that Bainimarama was very angry with my comments. They proceeded to further torture me, trying to get me to promise to never speak out against Bainimarama. This point of the ordeal was very traumatic. 

Another soldier with the voice similar to Roko Ului intervened and told off the people in the cell. He ordered that the beatings stop, and after this they put me in a car and they drove me out towards Nabua Secondary School, where they asked me to get off. 

I recall been helped by two young boys from here, who took me to the Matua Taxi Base in Mead Road, where I got onto a taxi and went straight home to a family that was clearly angered at what the Military had done. 

All soldiers that participated in the attack smelled of alcohol.

QEB: School visits during the day but scenes of torture at night.

I was told that night, to leave Suva. I left on Boxing Day for Levuka where I was informed by my family that someone had sent soldiers to my house in Suva, to take me in for another meeting. I was later informed via the media that I was put on a travel ban.

I recall thinking to myself, that if these men with guns feared a young person’s mouth or opinions, than I was definitely in the right.  That's why they fear us, because we breathe and preach Freedom. We are willing to die to purchase a better Fiji. I have never gone silent and since then I have been arrested three times for just speaking out against the Bainimarama Government.

In joining SODELPA I have invested much of my energy and time into ensuring many young people understand the dictatorship we are trying to dethrone. Every day I report to the SODELPA office and stand alongside many other Freedom Fighters who have been arrested and abused for refusing to accept the Coup of 2006. There is a sense of honor in their daily activities, a dedication to serving people and safeguarding Fiji.

We do not have a bad Military. We just have very bad self-serving leaders.

This man Frank Bainimarama is a paranoid control freak, a man who masks all his crimes with freebies and development. Do not be fooled, Frank is afraid of you! He is afraid that more people will hear the truth about the bitter road we have had to endure for the last 8 years. Frank Bainimarama is pumping as many  resources as he can in order to prevent the truth from been heard. We the People, have a simple solution - Change the Government. 

Friends, after all the nepotism, militarisation of the state, the corruption, the torture and the intimidation, and even after all the deaths at the hands of the state, we have been asked to now vote for a Government of the People. And Bainimarama is pretending to be a Saint or our Savior.

I am voting for the party that will bring about real change. I don't need anything to be given to me free. I am voting for the Party that will seriously look into human rights violations and take action.

The Party that will restore and protect elements of the Fijian administration and my culture. I am voting for SODELPA because I know that peace is guaranteed. And many young people feel the same.

When election day comes, I know it will be an emotional day for me and many other people in Fiji. My hopes, anger, aspirations and dreams will all rest on that tick. I pray that this message can be used, to show the true heart of people in SODELPA for Freedom Hope and Glory and an end to the Coup Culture.