22 Apr 2004

Calls for Vanuatu president to quit

10:02 am on 22 April 2004

The Vanuatu National Council of Women says the country's newly elected President should resign, following revelations that he has criminal convictions.

The election of President Alfred Maseng Nalo has caused a constitutional crisis after it was revealed shortly after his win at Easter that he is currently serving a suspended sentence for receiving stolen goods.

Council chief executive Jenny Ligo blames the Electoral Commission, for not checking thoroughly, the President's eligibility to stand as a candidate.

"It is the fault of the electoral office; that they should have checked what the judgment is, and this is something, that they haven't done it, well, whereas they elected the president, and they found out after, and we felt this is really a mockery."

However Radio New Zealand International has been told that the commission did check with the police, but was not told of the convictions against President Alfred Massing Nalo.