First election petition lodged in Vanuatu

first_election_petition_lodged_in_vanuatuA candidate who contested the 2016 snap election in the constituency of Pentecost in Vanuatu has lodged an election petition with the Supreme Court in Port Vila.

Both the Supreme Court and the Electoral Office confirmed that Dr. Richard Leona, an independent candidate, has lodged an election petition and is calling for a recount of the results in the above constituency.

The constituency of Pentecost has four seats and after conflicting unofficial results between two candidates for the 4th seat, the final official results put Dr. Leona with 579 votes, a difference of eight votes from National United Party’s Ham Lini who secured 587 votes.

The Supreme Court Registry Office said a date is yet to be set for the hearing.

In the meantime, the Electoral Office said this is the first Election Petition to be lodged and registered in court for hearing, but there are talks of other looming petitions.

The Electoral Office also confirmed that any election petitions must be lodged in Court, fees paid and registered 21 days after the official results is published in the Official Gazette by the State Law Office.

According to the Electoral Office, there is no appeal pending the outcome by the Court, under the relevant provisions under the People’s Representation Act.

The 21st day will lapse on February 21, 2016





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