5 Jan 2016

Jailed former MPs weeded out of Vanuatu candidates list

7:47 pm on 5 January 2016

Vanuatu's electoral office says it has received applications from 10 jailed former members of parliament to contest this month's snap election.

Polling in Vanuatu elections.

Polling in Vanuatu's 2012 elections. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

14 MPs were jailed after they were convicted of bribery in October, which triggered a deadlock in parliament that prompted the president to call the snap election.

The four other convicted former MPs -- including former prime minister Moana Carcasses, who spearheaded the payments -- have put forward relatives or former secretaries to stand on their behalf.

But an advisor with the electoral office, Martin Tete, says any candidate who is serving a prison term is ineligable to contest the election, and nine of the applications have already been rejected.

"The electoral office has received 10 applications and we have received note from the police with the decision of the court recently, and we have removed all the applications from those we have received so far."

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