11 Mar 2020

Vanuatu court to hear Natuman's final bid to contest election

4:40 pm on 11 March 2020

Vanuatu's supreme court will meet tomorrow to hear a former prime minister's final bid to contest next Thursday's election.

 Vanuatu Deputy Prime Minister, Joe Natuman.

Joe Natuman. Photo: OFC via Phototek

The electoral office had rejected Joe Natuman's application, because he's still serving a suspended sentence that saw him lose his seat in Parliament in 2018.

Joe Natuman's two year suspended sentence lapses on 16 March - three days before the election.

Under the law, Natuman would be allowed to contest the election after this sentence lapses.

But the electoral commission rejected his application on the grounds that he was still serving his sentences when the deadline lapsed.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports that he had sought the Supreme Court's interpretation in a final push to be allowed to stand on Tanna.