Following the advertisement of the election petition in the two daily newspapers, the 27 Fiji First Members of Parliament and FijiFirst candidate Faiyaz Koya appeared in the Court of Disputed Returns this morning before Justice Anjala Wati and Justice Kamal Kumar.

The 27 respondents include the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

Also allowed in court was Fiji First Youth Wing Naziya Ali.

There was also a lot of tension and debate outside of the courtroom from frustrated supporters of the two opposing parties on restrictions from the police allowing only members of parliament into the courtroom.

Members of the media were later allowed to make their coverage.

In the case of SODELPA Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka and NFP Leader Biman Prasad vs Fiji First Party Leader Voreqe Bainimarama and Others,  Solicitor General Sharvada Sharma has said in the case of the elections petition filed that there is no shred of evidence to show that there were 108 people that were denied the right to vote in the 2018 general elections.

Sharma who is representing the Supervisor of Elections says as there is no evidence and that the supervisor of elections will do his best to respond to the petition.

Sharma says neither he nor the the Supervisor of elections know if the person turned up to vote or not.

Sharma stressed that the petitioner must bring all evidence to the court and cannot assume to make the applications and leave it to the respondent to decide to agree or not.
He says the petitioner has the burden of proof and the standard of proof in the letter of petitions is very high.

Sharma added this could be a case of purgery and advised that the court is not misled.

Jon Apted who is representing Rabuka and Prasad, says the details about the 108 people who were denied their right to vote, are mentioned in the petition.

Filimoni Vosarogo who is also representing Rabuka and Prasad, says that he has prepared a memorandum that would guide the court and other parties in the case as to which direction they are taking.

Justice Kamal Kumar says everyone will be given time to file their response and that the judges do not need a memorandum to guide the court as they will do that duty.

SODELPA and NFP are challenging the conduct, count and tallying of the results of the 2018 General Election.

The case will be called at 10am Thursday to fix the hearing date and to determine on whether they will allow the lawyers for Rabuka and Prasad to bring their witnesses to court.

Justice Wati has also said that Sharvada Sharma and Devanesh Sharma are to file response to the affidavits by 3pm this Wednesday.

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