– The results tighten, and a protester is questioned by the police
Police have issued a summons to a candidate in Fiji’s legislative election this week as the gap between the two parties narrows.
The gap between the two main parties narrowed in Fiji on Saturday after a volatile night, with one of the candidates for prime minister summoned by police in the run-up to legislative elections.
Chithiveni Rabuka, a 74-year-old former head of government and two-term ruler, is running for prime minister against incumbent Frank Bainimarama, a former military leader who came to power a few years ago. Sixteen years ago.
Opposition members, led by Chithiveni Rabuka, feared problems with the first vote count overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, preventing the results from being shown for four hours. A coalition led by his party, the People’s Alliance, won 44% of the vote on Saturday morning, against 42%, making Frank Bainimarama a Fijian first. Almost half of the 2071 polling stations had sent their results. A final verdict is expected on Sunday.
Frank Bainimarama has remained silent since the start of polling on Wednesday, unlike his main rival who complained of “hostiles”. “Given the material counting irregularities, we demand that the current election process be immediately halted and replaced with manual counting of all votes,” Chithiveni Rabuka said in a letter to the country’s electoral watchdog on Thursday. . On Friday, Rabuka unsuccessfully called for the intervention of the military, which has a “general” constitutional responsibility to maintain stability.
Police were deployed overnight
Following this, he was summoned by the police in the evening along with his party’s general secretary Sakiyasi Titoka. There are no charges against them. “The way the government is doing it, we are talking about an environment of fear. That’s how they instill fear,” Chithiveni Rabuka told AFP later, adding that the move was an intimidation tactic by the government.
Police were mobilized overnight and blocked the road. Almost a hundred international observers observed the election and there were no significant problems. Their report explained that the outages did indeed affect the vote counting display application, but they did not mean the counting system itself was corrupted.
The vote is seen as a test for the young and fragile Fijian democracy and has a significant international dimension: Frank Bainimarama is very close to Beijing, while Chitiveni Rabuka wants to move away from it. Four prime ministers have been overthrown in coups in the past 35 years, some of them led by incumbent candidates for the post of head of government.