5 Dec 2012

Vanuatu's Supreme Court begins hearing election petitions

7:47 am on 5 December 2012

Vanuatu's Supreme Court has started hearing 24 election petitions related to October's general election.

Among the eight cases heard yesterday was the case between the Port Vila constituency MP and president of the Vanuatu Liberal Democratic Party, Willie Jimmy and the prime minister, Sato Kilman.

Mr Jimmy's application questions whether Mr Kilman was allowed to stand as a candidate during the elections despite allegedly not clearing a debt of 140,000 US dollars to the government.

Mr Jimmy argued he and other candidates were asked by the Electoral Commission to settle their debts before they could contest the election but that wasn't extended to Mr Kilman.

Mr Jimmy said the Commission was well aware Mr Kilman had the debt and that's why Mr Kilman's name was not listed and aired on Radio Vanuatu with the first list.

Sato Kilman's name was only announced in the second list by the Electoral Commission.