22 Dec 2005

Vanuatu electoral office head supports call for politicians to meet academic criteria

4:06 pm on 22 December 2005

Vanuatu's Principal Electoral officer Martin Tete says he supports a call for the introduction of criteria for political candidates to have a certain level of academic qualification.

Mr Tete's comments come in the wake of a call by the leader of the Peoples Action Party, Harold Qualao at a conference addressing 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.

Mr Tete says the conference heard complaints about the lack of contribution of local politicians because they have limited educational backgrounds.

"I thought that is a very good idea that we should approach the government and perhaps amend the law to include a provision together for some sort of criteria where we can assess aplicants who will contest future elections to have some educational background. I prefer that they should reach a minimum level of secondary school leaving certificate."

Martin Tete.