22 Dec 2005

Calls for Vanuatu politicians to attain at least secondary education

2:36 pm on 22 December 2005

There's been support for a call for possible amendments to Vanuatu's Electoral Act to ensure all political candidates have a certain level of academic qualification.

The leader of the Peoples Action Party, Harold Qualao, made the call this week at a conference to address the problem of rural voters breaking the law by voting in urban polling stations.

Mr Qualao says this problem stems from political leaders and candidates, who he says should be educated in order to educate their supporters in the relevant political technicalities.

Vanuatu's Principal Electoral Officer, Martin Tete, says the conference showed that people are concerned about the abilities of politicians.

"Several complaints that some of the members of the municipal councils, and provincial councils, and even parliament, they were not contributing to the discussion in parliament, or provincial or municipal councils because they have very limited educational backgrounds."

Martin Tete says the government should be approached to look at amending the law to include criteria for at least secondary school education for political candidates.