Third man charged after alleged election fraud

Police have arrested a third man in relation to an alleged scam involving a candidate in last week's Auckland super city elections.

A 48-year-old man was charged today with using a forged document and knowingly making a fake declaration.

He was bailed to an Auckland address and will appear in the Manukau District Court on Friday.

Counties Manukau police said today they could not rule out further arrests.

Daljit Singh, a ward candidate in last weekend's Auckland local body elections, and another man appeared in Manukau District Court a week ago accused of fraud over the alleged forging of change of address forms involving hundreds of voters in south Auckland.

The second man, not a candidate, was granted name suppression but it was refused for Singh, who dropped an appeal against that ruling on Friday, the day before voting closed.

He said he "strongly denied" the allegations of fraud and would defend himself.

Singh, who was backed by Labour and stood for the Papatoetoe Community Board, failed to get elected.

He said the charges had affected the way people had voted for him, even though his name had only just been published.

Labour Party president Andrew Little earlier said Labour was "deeply disappointed that a candidate standing under its name is being prosecuted for alleged irregularities in enrolments for the local body elections".

He said Singh had been a member of the Labour Party since May.

"There is no tolerance in our party for conduct that undermines the integrity of the electoral process," Mr Little said.

Singh said he was confident his name would be cleared.

"I am absolutely a law-abiding citizen and I have a good faith in the judiciary so I am pretty sure it will work."

Singh, a real estate agent with Barfoot and Thompson, is also a marriage celebrant and a licensed immigration adviser.

He is a spokesman for the NZ Sikh Society and convener of the Supreme Sikh Council.

In his election campaign material he said he had lived in Papatoetoe for 17 years and believed his experiences as a JP, marriage celebrant and regular volunteer at the Papatoetoe Citizens Advice Bureau, provided an excellent basis for representing the views of local residents on the Community Board.

Singh is due back in court later in the month.




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