Lynda’s ultimatum – Saneem says she has until today to respond to FEO

The People’s Alliance party deputy party leader, Lynda Tabuya (left) and Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem. Pictures: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

The People’s Alliance deputy leader Lynda Tabuya has blasted the recent changes to the Electoral Act, saying she could be forced to answer questions from the Fijian Elections Office in breach of her legal rights.

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem says she has until today to respond to the Fijian Elections Office in relation to the Rock the Vote Fiji organisation.

At a news conference yesterday, Mr Saneem said Ms Tabuya was supposed to respond by last Friday and she said she was busy and had been given an extension until today to come forward with an explanation. “With or without a response will make a determination whether we proceed under Section 18 (of the Electoral Act) or not,” he said.

Speaking to The Fiji Times yesterday, Ms Tabuya said a recent amendment to the Electoral Act gave Mr Saneem “unfettered powers” that “not even Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC) or police have”.

She also said FICAC had called her in yesterday to quiz her on the same issue – where she had a lawyer present and was not compelled by FICAC to answer questions.

Ms Tabuya said in the SOE’s case, she would have no right to a lawyer, was not entitled to remain silent and would commit an offence if she refused to answer.

“This begs the question, why am I required to answer to SOE when FICAC is doing their job with my rights intact?” she said.

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