Fiji Police Commissioner: Follow Rule Of Law During Election

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Groenewald concerned about election-related reports during pre-polling

By Ana Madigibuli and Nasik Swami in Suva

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, Sept. 6, 2014) – Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald has warned all Fijians to exercise discretion, follow the rule of law and be mindful of their actions during this month’s general election – the first in the country since the 2006 military coup eight years ago, The Fiji Times reports.

Commissioner Groenewald said as the country was in its fourth day of pre-polling, he was concerned about the number of election-related reports that have been received from around the divisions.

"This in my view is a show of political intolerance to the election process and as of today we have received a number of reports on election related issues and as stipulated in the Electoral Decree 2014, police will conduct initial investigations before the cases are referred to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC)," he said.

Meanwhile, the latest Tebbutt-Times poll, has shown that Fiji First leader Voreqe Bainimarama’s popularity as preferred choice of Prime Minister ahead of the September 17 election has dropped – but he still leads other aspiring candidates.

According to the poll conducted between September 1-4, Bainimarama’s popularity decreased to 49 percent compared with 60 percent in the second round of the poll last month.

When asked who they preferred to see succeed as prime minister if there was an election held tomorrow, 49 percent of the 1137 survey respondents in Suva, Nasinu, Lami, Nausori, Nadi, Lautoka and Ba chose Bainimarama as their first choice.

Twenty percent chose SODELPA leader Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa as the second – an increase of 3 percent since last month.

National Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad and People’s Democractic Party (PDP) leader Felix Anthony were placed third with 2 percent of those surveyed choosing them as their preferred choice of prime minister.

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