31 Oct 2003

Sope could be challenged over candidacy in Vanuatu by-election

3:21 pm on 31 October 2003

Following the Vanuatu Electoral Commission's announcement of the list of candidates for next month's by-election on Efate, the Vanua'aku Pati has hinted that it could try and block Barak Sope from contesting.

Mr Sope, who is a former Prime Minister, was jailed for fraud but was freed after being pardoned.

The Vanua'aku Pati's candidate, Foster Rakom, has told the Daily Post that his committee is looking at seeking a legal explanation through the courts over the status of Mr Sope.

Despite the Electoral Commission's confirmation that Mr Sope has been cleared for the election by the attorney general, the Vanua'aku Pati says it may test his status if it can raise money for it.

Mr Rakom says Mr Sope is his main opponent for the seat, but insists the convicted fraudster has no right to contest this election.