Electoral office removed names of convicted former MPs over bribery

The Electoral Office finally confirmed receiving over 10 applications from the 14 convicted former members of parliament to contest snap elections this month. Recently, government department of finance confirmed that all 14 convicted former MPs have paid 100 000 vatu as candidate fee to contest the snap election on 22nd January. The adviser within the electoral office and former principal electoral officer, Martin Tete said that they have received over ten applications from the jail in Port Vila and they have already removed nine of them from the list. Mr Tete said the other four convicted MPs have replaced their names by the names of their relatives. On the island of Pentecost, Tony Nari is replaced by his younger brother, Russel Nari and in Port Vila constituency, Pierre Tore who was the former secretary of Moana Carcasses will contest in Green Party’s colors.
Mr Tete said under Vanuatu’s people’s representation act stipulates that any candidate who chooses to contest an election to become member of parliament must not have suspended sentence or prison term. He said that any candidate who is under this category is automatically disqualified. Mr Tete said that the removal of the name of the nine convicted former MPs followed recent court ruling and the screening by the police. He said that under the people’s representation act, the electoral office will not refund the money of the 9 convicted former MPs. A candidate fee is 100 000 vatu. The 14 convicted former MPs are currently serving their 3 to 4 years jail term after they were found guilty of corruption and bribery of official by Supreme and Appeal Court.

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