Monday, 1 March 2010 7:00 AM

Kemakeza's Candidacy Was Illegal, Declares Courts

The High Court in the Solomon Islands has declared that the former Solomon Islands prime minister Sir Allan Kemakeza was ineligible to contest last year's Savo/Russell by-election.

The by-election saw Sir Allan reclaim the seat he lost when he was sent to prison for six months in 2008 after a conviction for authorizing militants to raid a law firm in 2002 when he was Prime Minister.

Before the by-election, the Returning Officer accepted the legality of Sir Allan's candidacy a move later challenged in the High Court.

The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Sir Peter Kenilorea, says the Court's declaration is in line with the Constitutional advice they sought from the Attorney General after becoming aware that Sir Allan's suspended sentence was still active at the time of his nomination.

Sir Peter says given the looming national general election, he will need to consult Electoral Commission members regarding holding another by-election for the Savo/Russell constituency.

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