28 Oct 2003

Majuro mayor denied opportunity to seek second term in office

11:58 am on 28 October 2003

The mayor of Majuro in Marshall Islands has been told he cannot seek a second term in office in next month's general election.

Mudge Samuel is coming to the end of his first four year term in office.

But, the Chief Electoral Officer, Hemly Benjamin, said the mayor could not stand for re-election because it was discovered that he had a criminal record following complaints from other candidates.

The constitution of Majuro forbids anyone with a criminal conviction from seeking or holding office.

Mr Samuel says he has requested the Marshall Island Parole Board to recommend to Cabinet that he be given a pardon in relation to a felony conviction in 1986.

He was found guilty of threatening another man with a point 22 rifle.

He says if his record is not wiped clean he will have to go to court to fight for his rights.