15 Feb 2012

Reports of bribes eight months out from Vanuatu election

12:54 pm on 15 February 2012

Eight months out from the election in Vanuatu, there are reports that some potential candidates are handing out gifts in villages throughout the country.

The Acting Principal Electoral Officer Gullain Malessas says the national election date is now set for October the 30th and not for November as announced earlier.

Mr Malessas says his office is already receiving reports of proposed candidates handing out gifts.

A former MP Mr Roro Sambo of Mele Village says individuals are handing out cash to villagers in broad day light.

MP Ralph Regenvanu says he's worried about the reports eight months out from the election.

He says a Supreme Court decision in 2009 means that any offer of assistance to voters could be interpreted as bribery.