Thursday, May 10, 2007

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

With the economic doom predicted earlier now appearing closer to a reality , the illegal military regime is getting desparate!

The once proud Chaudhry has begged Australia and New Zealand to understand Fiji's situation and lend a helping hand. New Zealand and Australia remain firm in their sanctions, and so they should!! Chaudhry's excuse that these two countries did nothing in the past 6 years with regards to governance issues is waaayyy off topic and really stupid. You see, the governance issues were from a people's elected government. And the people of Fiji were given proper channels to voice their grievances regarding the government's policies and issues. There was always a channel open to us the public to speak up and be heard. That was during the reign of democracy and an elected government. People of this country were not threatened, intimidated, beaten, killed for speaking out against the policies of an elected government.


The illegal military regime are in power thru illegal means, and Chaudhry's taking home his illegaly attained $50k plus salary not because the people put him there! but because he opted to join this illegal regime!
THERE IS NO OPPOSITION PARTY to this illegal military regime to counter and debate the issues and policies they implement.
We the people are NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK OUT, lest we be taken in for questioning, beaten or even worse!

Chaudhry, the international arena is watching closely and monitoring the situation on the ground. You seem to be loosing it badly as of late.

Your false accusations against the Elections Commisioner Mr. Karavaki has come back to bite you and your illegal regime. Chaudhry's claim that the Elections were 'rigged' stank (lewenski is there such a word?) so bad that even the Editor of the Fiji Times threw it back at him. Mr Karavaki the esteemed Elections Commisioner has returned the compliments ten fold.
The Times Editorial explains the irrelevance of Chaudhry's claim, and I thought I'd dwell a bit on that to enlighten the rural readers (if you can print and disseminate please do so) on the processes involved. Understanding the processes somewhat will empower you the reader to conclude for yourself the value of his claim.

My understanding, having worked in the Elections of 2001 and 2006 (Lewenski you reading this?:)), is that the Elections Commission worked closely with Australian and New Zealand Elections consultants in the 2006 Elections. These consultants also produced ongoing reports regarding the areas they were involved in, continually reporting back to their governments on the status of the work they were doing. Some of these reports were made available to all political parties taking part in the 2006 Elections, along with the reports produced by the respective international election watchdogs.
There is a lot of work involved in the organising and collection of Voter registration information to be entered into the Electoral roll database. This roll is then updated various times during in the build up to Elections as is required in the Elections Act. For each update, the updated rolls (not sure if only those updated, or the whole roll) are printed and given to the various Parties and monitoring bodies/agents. There are avenues for corrections from respective parties concerning their constituencies, and these corrections are then run through the whole process i've just mentioned. There is of course a timeframe to work with and the elections commission is limited in the number of correctios,updates etc they have in order to meet the deadlines. All this I am sure Mr Chaudhry knows of himself, having been involved in Fiji politics from as far back before the first coup in 1987.

Now the FINAL printing of the Electoral ballot papers are dependent on the

  • Total voters registered per constituency
  • Commision's allocation of Polling stations for each day
  • and which constituencies are going to be available at each polling station.
I emphasised FINAL because during the build up before Polling starts, if the Elections Office makes an administrative error in printing faulty ballot papers then the Office is required to destroy the incorrect ones and there is a process for doing this. If memory serves me correct this occured in the build up to the 2006 Elections - I believe it was a print out with an incorrect logo for a candidate above or below the line,or something like that. I understand that the "destroying" process was followed by the Elections Office, with the Australian and New Zealand representatives kept in the know about it. Transparency was the keyword then and there was no complaint about these papers at all during the build up to Elections, during Eletions or after Elections - after all they could not be used in voting as the mistaken papers would have been identified during the Counting Process. eh Chaudhry?.

You can see the numbers game coming into play here.
The determination of how many Electoral papers to allocate for each polling station - for each day - is never an exact science. Having extra papers printed is a norm, they did so in 2001, and possibly other elections.
Why? Well the Elections Office can never be sure how many people will turn up to each polling station on a given day to vote for a particular constituency.
The Elections Office has always made voting easier for us the voters by opening polling stations close to us at certain days, and in case we can't make it for those days allow us to vote at near by polling stations also. Because the number of votes cast at each station is never known, the Elections Office has to work with bulk figures in determining how many papers to issue per station per day and reshuffling these to be used again at the next polling station and so forth.

Chaudhry's attempt at misleading the public with his "over 600,000 Elections papers" excess is really taking advantage of the ignorant public, most probably aimed at increasing his dwindling support group in his constituency and Fiji cane belt areas. You see what Chaudhry did not reveal, and no one knows if this is highlighted in the audit reports he was quoting from, is that no conclusion can be based on this number alone!
The following are points that need to be addressed to give us a better picture of the situation

Of this 650,000 papers;
  1. What is the breakdown of this 650,000 ballot papers per Constituency ?
  2. Were these excess papers printed during a single print session?
    If not, then explain why and how many excess papers were printed during each print session?
  3. Would these papers have affected the results of any of the constituencies?
The last question is the most important one.
To answer the last question properly, we'll have to know the answer to the first question, and how valid these excess papers were come Election time.

The fact that Chaudhry did not reveal this vital information makes his arrogant smile all the more irritating. (caught you off guard there didn't I). Yes, like you I am tired of seeing his arrogance reflected in his online photos, his TV comments and his attemtp to con the populace into supporting him! Back on track here...

The breakdown is important as we the public need to know, if there was something illegal going on, how many excess papers were there regarding each constituency at each polling station for voters. How many papers could have been used to "manipulate the results" as he claimed it.


Chaudhry went further to digging his own political grave by stating the following points:

"A detailed audit of the ballot papers was impossible because the Elections Office:"
Did not keep a record of ballot papers issued to each polling station;

Failed to maintain a master record of ballot papers against which reconciliation could be carried out of used/unused ballot papers;

  • The ballot papers USED per polling station is verified at the end of the day for each polling station per day. The polling stations are bulk issued with ballot papers and a record of the number of papers used per day is recorded
- as each vote is cast
- and a final count at the end of the day when the polling station is closed for polling papers USED.
For each of these processes, a representative of each political party is allowed to be present in the polling room to keep track of the count.
The final count of papers USED is then substracted from the bulk count given for each station. Papers not used are returned to the Main Polling Office by Policemen, and a further verification count is done at the Main polling office of the papers returned. Again I believe the parties are allowed to be around when this is done, but am not sure on that account.

Maybe Chaudhry's FLP party missed out on some, but it appears that the Elections Office didn't.

It's important thing to highlight here is that in the whole process the USED ballot papers are important to keep track of, not the unused ones. The USED ones are the ones that should tally with the Registered Voters who Voted. Remember all those people sitting in the voting room with books in front of them and crossing names off? Yes well Chaudhry's people were a part of that group also, making sure that each used paper was accounted for.

Did not carry out a reconciliation of used and unused or spoilt ballot papers after the elections as required under the Electoral Act;
This reconcilliation was incomplete as Mr. Karavaki stated since the papers were still located at his Office when he was illegaly removed from Office by this bunch of illegal idiots. (yes, its getting to me).
Mr Karavaki stated that they were still in the process of finalising the audit when he was removed.
Notice that Chaudhry makes no mention of this audit, no reference to the legal work done by the Elections committe.

Burnt a large quantity of allegedly spoilt and unused ballot papers, which was in direct breach of the Electoral Act. The explanations for this gross misconduct was "administrative error";
My understanding is that the papers printed during the first few printing runs and were incorrect needed to be burned. Sitiveni Rabuka clarified the process in which this is done and it appears that the Elections Office followed this process. I think I remember this happening during the course of the build up for Elections. If Chaudhry has records of the burning, then this process was followed as was required by the Elections Act. If he is referring to this set of incorrect ballot papers, then what is the issue mr illegaly appointed minister?

The Supervisor of Elections is required by law to Gazette the results of the general elections based on reports submitted by Returning Officers.

Wasn't this Gazetted when the Government started its rule after Elections! I recall hearing the Elections Office state clearly all the results of the Elections as each count was completed. Does he mean Gazette it as in how the illegal military regime have been pushing out gazettes in their attempts to make all their illegal appointments legal?

The people of this nation, particularly those that live in the cane belt area and believe in Chaudhry's claims, need to understand that the Fiji Electoral Process is a model that has been approved by various local Political Parties and NGOs along with international countries.
The processes involved in every Election we have is carried out with so many verification, checks and double checks and all this with people looking over their shoulders so to speak.
This is so because it
  • ENFORCES TRANSPARENCY at each step, with the close monitoring of the Elections Commision by international bodies and local party representatives.

  • ENFORCES INTEGRITY at each step as various bodies have input at various stages of the Elections, including the political parties taking part, the government representatives, the Ministry of Finance for financial requirements, and the international bodies monitoring their investments in the Elections department.

  • DISCOURAGES 'RIGGING' of Electoral results as the combination of the two points mentioned previously reduces the possibility of one political party rigging the Electoral results ; be it current Government, a political party or some influence form within the Elections Commission.

This is why countries like Australia, New Zealand and other international bodies like the Commonwealth, the US, the EU and according to the Fiji Times editorial a group from the USP, are there to monitor the process ensuring that all parties are up to date with the latest information, all parties are informed and that the Electoral commision is abiding by the rules of the Elections Act and Constitution of Fiji. The same Constitution that Voreqe, Chaudhry and their bunch of thugs tore apart since December 5.

This is why Mr Karavaki states that the papers that were in excess were all accounted for and located in his office at the time he was unconstitutionally removed from his Office. He is not responsible for what occurred after his removal! Chaudhry is!

What is more astounding is the fact that Chaudhry claims that the Elections Office and Mr Karavaki need to provide proof to counter various allegations. Chaudhry has not provided any substantial proof to support his allegations, just pushing the burden of proof to Mr Karavaki in his letter to the editor in today's Fiji Times Friday 11th May. (if link doesn't work, check Fiji Times archives)

Doesn't this technique sound so farmiliar! Voreqe used that technique as his excuse for coup saying that there was "extreme wide scale corruption" and still to this day he hasn't been able to show us proof of this corruption that would justify a vote of no faith by Cabinet of the Elected Government.

A fellow blogger completes this argument by clearing up the air on the failed Elections techniques used by the anti-SDL parties their attempt to gang up on SDL, the clarification of the numbers game, and highlights the important fact that this "audit report" was done by a bunch of people appointed by this illegal Finance Minister Chaudhry.

Now I'd better put this out there in case what they say about the Military blocking this is actually true.
Read the latest news update from Pacific Radio News and tell me that they're not desperate!


Anonymous said...

You are awesome man - we love your ideas and your blog. If we ever see the day we can be free again and have fair and free elections, I would like to nominate you for Prime Minister . Amen

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear! I second the motion. Love your blog