Tonga Electoral Commission Fields Complaints Against Candidates

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Allegations of electoral procedure violations to be investigated

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Jan. 8, 2015) – Nine complaints of infringement of Electoral Procedure by candidates in the November 2014 General Election have been filed with the Electoral Commission, said Pita Vuki the Electoral Commissioner yesterday, 7 January.

Pita said that three of the complaints are against candidates who were not elected, and nine are against People’s Representatives who won seats.

The Commissioner admitted that it was going to be a long process to address the complaints. After he received the response from the candidates to the complaints he would present them to the Attorney General, who would then decide if there were cases to answer.

Pita said that complaints had been filed against all of the Vava’u PRs; Samiu Vaipulu, ‘Etuate Lavulavu and Saia Piukala.

There had been no complaints from the Niuas, Ha’apai and ‘Eua electorates.

As for Tongatapu, there have been six complaints, with three against elected PRs: Poasi Tei, Siaosi Sovaleni and Semisi Fakahau; and three against unelected candidates, Clive Edwards, Tevita Palu and Tu’i Uata.

Pita said they had notified the candidates of the complaints, but so far only Semisi Fakahau had responded, by denying the claim that he had not been residing in Constituent No. 6 over the minimum required period of time of three months.

He said that the other complaints related to over spending by candidates in their campaigns beyond the $10,000 limit.

Pita said that all the elected candidates had submitted their campaign financial reports.

All the complaints were filed either by candidates who were not elected or by voters.

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