6 Candidates Cleared to Contest
By Post Courier
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato yesterday made separate decisions on six intending candidates who required clearance to nominate and contest the 2017 National Election.
They included sitting members, two former parliamentarians and a prisoner who had appealed his conviction.
Mr Gamato named them as Sir Pita Lus, Ronny Knight, Kiloh Kennedy, Francis Potape, James Yali, and Boka Kondra.
- Ronny Knight: The Supreme Court has allowed him to nominate on April 26.
- Kiloh Maule Kennedy: Kennedy was imprisoned at Bomana Correctional Services. He has appealed the decision. Mr Kennedy has the right to nominate under the constitution so he is allowed to nominate and contest the election.
- Francis Potape: Mr Potape faced allegations of misuse/misappropriation. The courts have cleared him so he can nominate and contest the election.
- James Yali: Mr Yali is out on parole. He is no longer in prison while his pardon is still pending. His term is less. Section 50(1)(a) allows him to nominate to contest the election.
- Boka Kondra: The Leadership Tribunal found Mr Kondra guilty of misconduct in office under the Leadership Code. His application for judicial review was dismissed by Court. Mr Kondra resigned as member of Parliament therefore he is no longer a leader. He is free to nominate and contest.
- Sir Pita Lus: There is no age limit for nomination and contesting after passing the legal age limits to contest as MP. Sir Pita Lus can therefore nominate and contest the election.
The clearance by the commission came after various lawyers and candidates sought clearance from the Electoral Commissioner to nominate and contest various seats in the country.
Mr Gamato said he has allowed these intending candidates to nominate and contest the election in the light of the provisions the Constitution that limit, allow and qualify persons intending to nominate and contest the national general elections.
“As Electoral Commissioner, I have made some decisions in light of the provisions of the Constitution and the Organic Law on National and LLG Elections.”