19 Oct 2012

Candidate eligibility for Vanuatu election can be challenged - Kalwat

5:26 am on 19 October 2012

Vanuatu's acting principal electoral officer, Lionel Kalwat, says that people are able to legally challenge any decision of the Electoral Commission regarding candidate eligibility for the October 30 election.

Mr Kalwat's comment comes after the Commission upset several politicians for excluding their names from the initial candidates list due to information that they had outstanding debts to government.

71 candidates who were left off the initial list were added to the final list late last week after settling their debts or addressing irregularities in their nominations.

However, the Commission has now been criticised for listing candidates who still have outstanding debts.

Mr Kalwat has not denied allegations that some candidates have debts to pay but blames government departments for not properly screening candidate's for their debt records for any anomalies in the process.