By Ratu Tevita Mara
Fiji’s illegal Attorney-General Aiyaz Khaiyum’s statement (of September 21) to the Diplomatic Corps in Fiji that “it’s better to outsource (election voter registration) as it creates transparency” is another scam, dishonest and despicable.
To all intents and purposes, it is another subterfuge to con Diplomatic Representatives in Fiji that the 2014 elections will be free and fair. The illegal AG Khaiyum neglected to name one country in the world that outsources the arranging and conducting of its National Elections.
Why did the illegal AG not select the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the European Union, the British, American, Australian, New Zealand or Canadian Governments to handle the elections? They may even finance it. Private companies can be bribed or bought if the price is right, and, who knows, the price may be right just like the price paid to an American Law firm through a public owned Fiji company, to write the iniquitous anti-Trade Union Decree.
The only voters in Fiji who have faith in and trust the Military Junta belong to the families of the murderer Bainimarama and the illegal AG and their cohorts. Everyone else regards the regime as totally corrupt.
The illegal AG Khaiyum likes to use the word transparency but he and the junta do not practice it. The word transparency refers to the quality that makes something obvious or easy to understand. So how will outsourcing voter registration to a private company be easily seen, open to questions and be easily understood by the Fiji voters? The illegal AG Khaiyum’s whole idea and plan for outsourcing the voter registration, if it is done, is to prevent openness and transparency.
The use of voting machines, supplied by overseas companies, that are not inspected by any international and independent professional electronic engineers reeks of fixing.
The machines can and will be rigged by the illegal AG’s preferred supplier to ensure the junta’s selected Political Party wins the election.
Since there will be no Ballot Slips to mark, will the voting machines print and issue a paper slip receipt to show the voter the accuracy of their vote? On the basis of transparency, fairness, openness and accountability, there must be a paper slip receipt issued by the machine to satisfy the voter. These paper slip receipts will also need to be signed by the voter and all collected and counted by an independent international body. The total count of the paper
slip receipts should equal the total electronic count.
From our independence to today, the Office of the Supervisor of Elections was responsible for arranging and conducting all General Elections in Fiji. The Office of the Supervisor of Elections is also responsible to ensure fairness, honesty and independence. All this work was done in Fiji and subject to consultation with all Political Parties, discussions and inspection. In fact, the 1970 Constitution, the 1990 Constitution and the 1997 Constitution contained such requirements. Why then is the power-hungry Khaiyum changing the system. This also provides another reason why the 1997 Constitution was abrogated...to give the illegal AG the power he needs to “fix” the next elections.
There are also other important issues that must be considered. They include:
* First, how can the promised elections be open, fair and honest with the existence of the Public Emergency Regulations, which prevents free speech, assembly, political meetings, media freedom and freedom of movement
* Second, will the presiding election officers and Poll Clerks be military officers or supporters of the ruthless, power drunk junta or bribed officials.
From this analysis we can safely conclude that there are far too many unanswered questions that suggest that the electoral system proposed by the Illegal AG and Military Junta (to outsource the registration of Fiji voters and to use voting machines) is nothing more than another scam. It is also dishonest and a despicable attempt to deceive the people of Fiji and the world.