4 Nov 2009

Vanuatu capital readies for municipal elections

3:17 pm on 4 November 2009

135 candidates are to contest tomorrow's municipal elections in Vanuatu's capital Port Vila.

They are standing for 14 seats in four wards.

The candidates include former mayor Paul Avock whose council was dissolved in September over his alleged involvement in the death of a 12-year-old boy in a motor accident.

Daren Firiam, a friend of Mr Avock's son, was thrown from the back of a truck the mayor was driving when he tried to avoid a pot hole in the middle of the road.

The Internal Affairs minister Patrick Crowby's decision to dissolve the council followed public criticism over the conduct of the mayor.

There were claims that Mr Avock was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident, and he has been charged with of careless driving.

Vanuatu's President, Iolu Johnson Abil, has already declared tomorrow to be a public holiday in Port Vila to allow people time to vote.