12 Sep 2016

New Caledonia's Martin faces vote-buying charge

4:55 pm on 12 September 2016

A former New Caledonian president Harold Martin has been charged with vote buying in the lead-up to the 2014 municipal election.

Mr Martin, who is the mayor of Paita, was charged along with his deputy, who according to local media reports was in police detention last week.

The two are alleged to have given money and made job promises in return for votes.

ballot box

Photo: 123RF

Both risk up to two years in prison and ineligibility to hold office for life.

This follows an earlier controversy over the same election which a local court first annulled but a French court later upheld.

Mr Martin had been the mayor of Paita since 1995 and served as president of the Congress as well as president of the territorial government.