11 Feb 2013

Vanuatu MP describes court decision to strike out his petition against PM as nonsense

4:07 pm on 11 February 2013

The Vanuatu MP, Willie Jimmy, says he plans to appeal the Supreme Court decision to strike out his electoral petition against the Prime Minister Sato Kilman.

The petition challenged Mr Kilman's eligibility to contest the last election, with the Port Vila MP alleging the Prime Minister hadn't settled an outstanding debt of about US$120,000 in government rent.

Other candidates were made to settle their debts before being allowed to stand.

However Justice Robert Spear ruled that Mr Jimmy was not eligible to file the petition because he isn't from the same constituency as the Prime Minister, Malekula.

Mr Jimmy says the court's ruling is unhelpful.

"They set it aside and they're looking for little things. They're trying to side-step the matter. The ruling that came out did not address the main issue - Sato Kilman's debt to government is still there - and they come and only use the technicalities. This is nonsense to us."

Vanuatu MP Willie Jimmy