4 Nov 2003

Former Vanuatu PM Sope confident of regaining seat in by-election

4:33 pm on 4 November 2003

A former Vanuatu prime minister, Barak Sope, says he is confident of regaining his parliamentary seat on Efate in a by-election at the end of this month.

The seat was declared vacant after he was jailed for fraud but after a presidential pardon he is allowed to be candidate.

Mr Sope says he is not concerned about reported threats by a rival candidate to find a legal way to stop him on the basis that he is not eligible.

"It's their opinion and of course they were the ones who put me in prison. My name has been accepted by the Electoral Commission, the Attorney General and the Electoral Commission have stated that legally I can stand,.the Supreme Court and the Appeal Court as well in their judgement have stated that - so has the Speaker of Parliament."

Barak Sope says he has defeated his rivals in the previous polls and is confident of beating them again.