Fiji opposition leaders question integrity of election

A group of opposition party leaders in Fiji are calling for a halt to vote counting and an audit of the country's electoral system.

This comes after provisional results, displayed on a Fiji Election Office app, showing a clear lead for the opposition People's Alliance Party, over the ruling Fiji First Party were stopped due to an upload error that the electoral office said redistributed the allocation of votes displayed in the app.

The app was taken offline for several hours and then restarted in the early hours of Thursday morning showing an almost unassailable lead for the ruling Fiji First Party over all other parties.

Speaking for a group of political parties at a press conference in Suva this afternoon the leader of the People's Alliance Party, Sitiveni Rabuka, said the anomaly raises questions about the integrity of the entire electoral system.

"We now call for an immediate halt in the tallying of votes until an urgent forensic audit of the electoral system is conducted," Rabuka said.

"The leaders have put the Electoral Commission on notice that they are seriously considering non compliance with the warning that members of parliament because of the questionable results so far announced."

Other political party leaders present in the room were Biman Prasad of the National Federation Party, Savenaca Narube of Unity Fiji and Mahendra Chaudhry of the Fiji Labour Party.

Rabuka said in the coming days they intended to hold public meetings to share with voters their thoughts on the events that transpired after polls closed on Wednesday.

"The serious problem of anomalies or glitches in the election system app…call into question the integrity of the entire system,"said Rabuka.