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Time given to respondents to file their response

December 17, 2018 1:10 pm
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was present in court in relation to legal redress by SODELPA and National Federation Party

The Court of Disputed Returns has given the respondents seventy-two hours to file their answers and any other affidavits in relation to legal redress by SODELPA and National Federation Party.

SODELPA and National Federation Parties are challenging the outcome of the 2018 General Election.

The election petition was filed in court on 10th December on issues arising out of the conduct, count and tallying of results in the 2018 General Election.

Some of the matters raised in the petition include claims of unlawful conduct by election candidates under the Electoral Act and alleged breaches by the Supervisor of Elections of his duties under the Electoral Act.

The Government members of the parliament were present in court this morning including Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Minister for Defense Inia Seruiratu who were out of the country during the last court sitting.

High Court Judge Justice Anjala Wati and Justice Kamal Kumar have given respondents until Wednesday 3pm to file their answers and any other affidavit to be adduced in evidence.

Meanwhile, Jon Apted who is representing SODELPA and NFP informed the court that there are different kinds of allegations in this matter.

Apted claims that 108 voters were denied the right to vote and that they have eight principal witnesses.

However respondent’s lawyer and Solicitor General, Sharvada Sharma said that there is not a single shred of evidence from the 108 voters in relation to this.

He said the petitioners must bring all the evidence to court as they have the burden of proof.

Sharma also said that the Supervisor of Elections will do his level best to address the allegations.

He said if there is no evidence than nothing is proved.

The matter has been adjourned to Thursday to determine the number of witnesses expected to be called.

A hearing date is also expected to be set on Thursday and to give any other redirections.

Similar orders have been given to Unity Fiji party’s Jone Dakuvula and Satish Kumar who have also filed legal redress, challenging the outcome of the 2018 General Election results.