15 Oct 2012

Former Vanuatu Cabinet Minister questions exclusions from candidates' list

4:41 pm on 15 October 2012

The head of the Vanuatu Liberal Party has questioned the Electoral Commission's motivation to initially exclude most of his party's intended candidates from the candidates list for the upcoming election.

The Commission says that 71 of the overall 346 candidates were excluded from last week's list because of irregularities in their candidacy applications or due to outstanding debts.

The former cabinet minister Willie Jimmy sought explanation for the omissions of seven of his party's 11 candidates.

Mr Jimmy says the Commission cited minor incidents - in his case, he had allegedly not paid road tax for a vehicle he had not owned since 2004.

"If that money is owed to the government, why didn't they bring it up in 2008? I think they can feel the pressure of my new party in the other constituencies, that's why they're trying to eliminate us from the race. But thankfully, we've got through all the hassles and now all the eleven candidates are running."

Willie Jimmy