A proposed candidate in the Constituency of Malekula was disqualified even after his name was declared during the first reading by the Electoral Commission.
Director of Electoral Officer, Mr. Joe Iati confirmed Marcellin Abong has outstanding debts with the Government while he was with the Vanuatu Cultural Center.
He explained that Government departments were supposed to have submitted information of proposed candidates owing government money during the screening process, but the Electoral Commission did not receive any of information regarding Mr. Abong’s outstanding, until after the first declaration of the names of candidates.
The Electoral Commission notified Abong at the time, who was already on Malekula. According to Director Iati, he could not have done anything to sort out his debts as he was not on Efate.
Daily Post was informed by police officers on Malekula on the night of Election Day that people at Lamap area, where Mr. Abong comes from, were frustrated when they learnt that Mr. Abong’s photos (ballot papers) were never sent to Malekula.
Iati confirmed photos of Mr. Abong was not amongst other candidates’ photos that went to print.