28 Nov 2003

Former Vanuatu PM poised for re-election

4:29 pm on 28 November 2003

In Vanuatu's by-election in the Efate Rural electorate, opposition Melanesian Progressive Party candidate, Barak Sope, is leading with 2 thousand 419 votes, followed by Vanuaaku Party candidate, Foster Rakom, with one thousand 759 votes.

Several small polling stations have yet to send in their results.

Earlier this year, Mr Sope, a former Prime Minister, was found guilty of fraud and jailed for three years.

However, he was granted a presidential pardon after spending three and a half months in jail.

According to Mr Sope, in Melanesian culture when a person is forgiven, it means that that person is totally cleansed of his crimes and can use his constitutional right to take part in the political life of the country.