By Netani Rika
SCRUTINY of the 2018 General Election will continue until a decision is made on whether to challenge the results.
National Federation Party leader, Dr Biman Prasad, said the results would, however, be respected.
“The official result is that the Fiji First Party has won the election. We of course respect that result,” Prasad said.
“We are looking carefully at it. If a legal challenge is merited we will bring one.
“We are looking at the evidence and taking advice. I cannot say anything more about this now.”
The Federation maintained its three seats in Parliament while SODELPA gained five to take 16 and the ruling FijiFirst dropped from 32 to 27.
Its parliamentary majority fell from 14 in 2014 to three in 2018 after a heated campaign.
“Election campaigns are usually intense and sometimes even acrimonious and divisive,” Prasad said.
“The 2018 election campaign was no exception.”
Prasad acknowledged what he described as the great restraint and tolerance demonstrated by people during the campaign and during the balloting.
“I ask everyone to maintain that same calmness and unity, whatever the final result proves to be. Whatever we feel about the current election outcome, instability and division would be worse,” he said.
Official results show that FijiFirst received only 147 more votes than the opposition parties.
“The lead is marginal, probably most embarrassing result for a ruling party, and nothing to gloat about,” Prasad said.
“On a result that close, whoever is in the government should think carefully. If so many people have voted for alternative policies and platforms, a good government would show respect to that.”