FIJI RIGHTS COMMISSION CLAIMS BIAS IN 2006 ELECTIONS

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 26) - A Fiji Human Rights Commission report has revealed that there was significant bias against Indian voters to the advantage of the former ruling Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party, during the 2006 general elections.

The report reveals that the system of registration and maintaining of the electoral rolls during elections was insufficient.

This is because of the absence of ongoing registration and that of a national main roll and poor strategies deployed in the year of election.

The report, which was prepared by Suva lawyer, Gyaneshwar Lala, former parliamentarian, Taufa Vakatale, and New Zealand political science lecturer, Dr. David Neilson, highlighted the overwhelming numerical ethnic dominance of indigenous Fijians throughout the entire elections administration.

It went on to say that ‘nearly all the permanent employees of the elections of office were indigenous Fijians.’

"Because the public service is also occupied predominantly by ethnic Fijians, this means that personnel who are redeployed to the elections office in an election year are also overwhelmingly indigenous Fijians."

"This ethnic dominance by indigenous Fijians in the election process implies unintentional bias," it noted.

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