Images are circulating online purporting to show the Fijian attorney-general at a ballot paper printing facility just weeks from the country’s general election.
It comes after the National Federation Party (NFP) said it had been informed that attorney-general and Fiji First candidate Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum visited the Star Printery on December 1 and ordered the CCTV cameras be turned off.
But the images are not from December 1, 2022. They instead show Mr Sayed-Khaiyum visiting the facility back in 2019, to mark the company’s venture into manufacturing paper bags, food packaging and straws.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has denied the NFP’s original claim and held a press conference last week in which he pointed to posts on his Facebook page to prove he was elsewhere on the day in question.
“I was in Labasa,” he told reporters. “Those of you who follow my Facebook page that I have got a post and a photograph leaving Labasa Airport in the morning flight…I have here my boarding pass, seat 2A, 1st of December its dated when I got on the plane.”
The NFP has called for an investigation.
Following the NFP’s initial claim, Facebook users began posting images of the 2019 visit, claiming them to show the alleged incident earlier this month.
One post (archived here) features the caption: “#SOE u denied AG was at the star Printers. What’s this pic about ?? Here we have AG at the premises.”
SOE is a reference to the Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem, who has denied the claims and criticised the NFP.
Analysis of photos and video of the 2019 visit show the claimed 2022 images are actually from the same event.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum is wearing the same suit with the same pocket handkerchief and badge on his left lapel.
He is also pictured with the same two men giving him a tour of the facility. They are wearing the same clothes.
Fijians go to the polls on Wednesday.
The claim that images prove the Fijian attorney-general visited a ballot printing facility just weeks from the national election is false.
The images on social media come from a 2019 visit by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to mark the facility’s venture into producing paper bags, food packaging and straws.
False – The claim is inaccurate.