5 Nov 2009

Kemakeza candidacy set to go to Solomons High Court

4:54 pm on 5 November 2009

The question of Sir Allan Kemakeza's eligibility to contest last week's Savo/Russell by-election looks set to be taken to the Solomon Islands High Court after it emerged he should have been disqualified.

The by-election saw Sir Allan reclaim the seat he lost when he was sent to prison for six months last year after a conviction for authorising militants to raid a law firm in 2002 when he was Prime Minister .

Before the by-election, the Returning Officer accepted the legality of Sir Allan's candidacy.

However, the chairman of the Electoral Commission, Sir Peter Kenilorea, says because Sir Allan's 12-month suspended sentence is still active, he should have been disqualified by the returning officer.

"But when the Commission realised this new information, we recommended to him (Returning Officer) that he disqualify Sir Allan from the election. But that was after putting out the list of candidates which under the law, according to the Returning Officer, he could not do anything else about."

Meanwhile, the by-election's four main losing candidates plan to file a petition to the High Court challenging Sir Allan's candidacy.