29 Oct 2010

Rival complaints as CNMI campaign heats up

1:09 pm on 29 October 2010

An independent candidate and incumbent delegate, Gregorio Kilili Sablan, and the Democratic Party's Jesus Borja have separately filed complaints with the Northern Marianas Election Commission over attack ads published in the islands' two newspapers and alleged irregularities in the early voting process.

Mr Sablan, who is a former election commission executive director, is taking issue with newspaper ads attacking him, saying they do not have the proper identification of those responsible for placing the ads.

He says advertisements placed in the Saipan Tribune and Marianas Variety by the CNMI Descents for Self-Government and Indigenous Rights violate provisions of the CNMI Election Reform Act of 2000.

The ads claim that Mr Sablan lied to the public in the execution of his official duties as a member of the U.S. Congress.

Mr Borja, for his part, is urging the election commission to look into the unexpectedly large number of voters taking advantage of the early voting provision

to determine if there are any improperly cast votes.

The Republican Party's Juan Babauta, who is a former governor, and Joseph Camacho of the Covenant Party are also running in the delegate election set for November the 2nd.