8 Nov 2012

Disputes over Vanuatu election results must be filed in 20 days

4:48 am on 8 November 2012

The Vanuatu Electoral Commission has given political parties and individuals 20 days to file any disputes following Tuesday's official announcement of the 52 winning candidates in last week's poll.

The principal electoral officer, Lionel Kalwat, says under Vanuatu law, an election dispute must be deposited in the Supreme Court within 21 days of the gazetting of the names of the winning candidates.

Unsuccessful candidates in the constituencies of Tanna, Efate, Port Vila and Luganville had already indicated they would challenge the results.

Former prime minister Barak Sope, who contested the Port Vila constituency, is leading a committee of 43 disputing the results.

They claim over one thousand voters in Port Vila were denied their democratic rights because their names were not on the electoral roll, despite their having electoral cards.

They are also alleging fraud by the 6 winners in the Port Vila constituency.