12 Jul 2006

Confusion over PNG by-election candidate's eligibility

7:06 pm on 12 July 2006

There are conflicting claims surrounding the eligibility of a Papua New Guinea candidate in a recent by-election.

William Skate Junior, who is the son of a former prime minister Sir William Skate, says he is 25 years old which is the legal age to be a candidate.

However, he has failed to produce evidence to back up his claim.

Under electoral laws, if a candidate who wins is found to be under age their election would be declared null and void on the basis of a false declaration.

The Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, has told the news agency AAP that it was not for the commission to judge or verify ages given by candidates.

Mr Skate Junior is taking legal action to annul the by-election because it was allegedly poorly run.