Vanuatu (PACNEWS) – The Chairman of the Vanuatu Electoral Commission, Martin Tete, says the screening of candidates for the general election called for 19 March, 2020 has begun, with over 250 applications received so far.
The lodging of candidature application closed at 4.30pm on 11 February, 2020.
Tete said the total number of candidates is not yet known because forms lodged with the provincial secretariats are yet to arrive in Port Vila after the closing date.
“But i can confirm that we have already received more than 250 candidate application forms or more likely close to 300 candidates for all constituencies, I will have the exact digits when we receive all the applications from other five provinces in Vanuatu,” Chairman Tete said.
The Daily Post understands that although the time for lodging of candidatures has lapsed, some parties are still making withdrawals to make replacements for some candidates.
“I can confirm that there are two indication already of candidates who wish to withdraw their applications”, he added.
When asked about the application of Joe Natuman who also has lodged his application under the political affiliation of Vanua’aku Party, Tete said they are still waiting for State Law Office to advice, following his conviction and a two-years suspended sentence, which ends next month just before polling day.
“We were told that the written advice from State Law Office should be received on Friday 14 February but we haven’t received anything but at this stage all candidates’ applications that the office has received, we have started the screening process and all works must be done as quickly as possible before the second of March for the official declaration,” he said.
All successful candidates after the screening process must be all free from debts that they may have with the government and the provincial authorities.
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