2022 General Election: ABC stands by story


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) says it stands by its story titled “Fiji’s Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, caught in extraordinary dispute just a week out from national election”.

“This story reveals important allegations regarding the Fiji election and the independence of electoral processes which Fijians and all audiences have a right to know about,” an ABC spokesperson said.

“The ABC stands by our reporting on this issue, which was based on numerous sources familiar with the story and included the response from the election office.”

The ABC story was based on a letter from the National Federation Party to the Fijian Elections Office where the NFP claimed FijiFirst general-secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum visited Star Printery in Raiwaqa in the early hours of last Thursday but the reason for his visit was unknown.

The NFP further claimed he ordered that CCTV cameras on the premises be turned off and claimed he refused to leave at the request of FEO officials because ballot papers were being printed.

It alleged that the police were called and Mr Sayed-Khaiyum refused to leave at their request.

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said his office was “deeply concerned and astonished” at the way the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) allegedly propagated the information.

He said despite the FEO publishing a statement to correct the misinformation in the letter by NFP, an ABC reporter based in Fiji went ahead and published her story and labelled the FEO’s response as “defensive”.

Mr Saneem said the FEO was concerned that the ABC attempted to portray the entire electoral process in the manner it did, based on the incompetence of one reporter.

He said the entire story that was published appeared to have been designed to bring disrepute to the Fijian electoral process.

The ABC spokesperson said their reporter Lice Movono (ABC reporter based in Fiji) has worked with the ABC for many years.

“She is dedicated to independent, impartial journalism that keeps audiences informed.”

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