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Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 2012

REPUBLIC OF VANUATU


REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE (AMENDMENT) ACT NO. 10 OF 2012


Arrangement of Sections


1 Amendment
2 Commencement


REPUBLIC OF VANUATU


Assent:
26/04/2012
Commencement:
30/04/2012

REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE (AMENDMENT) ACT NO. 10 OF 2012


An Act to amend the Representation of the People Act [CAP 146].


Be it enacted by the President and Parliament as follows-


1 Amendment


The Representation of the People Act [CAP 146] is amended as set out in the Schedule.


2 Commencement


This Act commences on the day on which it is published in the Gazette.


SCHEDULE
AMENDMENTS OF THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT [CAP 146]


1 Subsection 9(1)


Delete “9B, 9C and 9D”, substitute “and 9B”


2 Sections 9A, 9B, 9C and 9D


Repeal the sections, substitute


“9A Registration of persons residing in the areas listed in Schedule 7


(1) If a person resides outside the constituencies of Port Vila and Luganville in the areas listed in Schedule 7, the person may choose to be registered in the electoral list for a polling district in the constituencies of Port Vila or Luganville if:


(a) the person is employed within the constituencies of Port Vila or Luganville and the person’s island of origin is not Efate or Santo; or


(b) the person is not employed within the constituencies of Port Vila or Luganville or is unemployed, and the person’s island of origin is not Efate or Santo.


(2) The registration officer must not register a person in the electoral list for a polling district in the constituencies of Port Vila or Luganville if he or she is satisfied that the person has some kind of relationship with the land owners of that particular area that would not enable the person to vote in a polling district in the constituencies of Port Vila or Luganville.


(3) Where there is doubt as to whether or not, a person satisfies the criteria in subsection (1) or there is uncertainty over the situation referred to in subsection (2), the registration officer must make an inquiry into such matter as he or she may consider necessary.


(4) After making inquiry under subsection (3) the registration officer is to make a report and a recommendation to the Principal Electoral Officer.


(5) Upon receipt of a report under subsection (4), the Principal Electoral Officer must, after considering the report, either:


(a) enter the name of the voter on the electoral list; or

(b) refuse to enter it and cause the voter to be informed of his or her decision.


(6) The Principal Electoral Officer may only refuse to enter a person’s name on the electoral list under subsection (5) if the person does not satisfy the criteria in subsection (1).


(7) To avoid doubt, a person referred to under paragraph (1)(a) or (b), may either choose to:


(a) be registered in the electoral list for a polling district in the constituency of:


(i) Port Vila - if the person is a resident in an area of Efate listed in Schedule 7 at the time of the preparation of the electoral list; or


(ii) Luganville – if the person is a resident in an area of Santo listed in Schedule 7 at the time of the preparation of the electoral list; or


(b) be registered in the electoral list for a polling district in the constituency in which he or she is a resident at the time of the preparation of the electoral list.


(8) For the purposes of this section the qualifying date is the 1st day of July in the year of preparation of the electoral list.


9B Exceptions to qualification for registration as a voter


(1) Despite section 9, a Minister, his or her immediate family or political advisor and support staff who originates or resides in a constituency but are by reason of their occupation required to attend Ministerial or official duties in Port Vila or Luganville, are eligible for registration in the electoral list for the polling district of the constituency of which they originate or reside at the time of the preparation of the electoral list.


(2) A person referred to under subsection (1) must be:


(a) a citizen ; and

(b) will have attained 18 years on or before 1st day of July in the year of preparation of the electoral list.”


  1. After section 23

Insert


23A Qualification for candidates for rural constituencies


(1) Subject to section 24, a person wishing to contest an election in a rural constituency must be a native or a person originating from that rural constituency.


(2) A person not originating from a rural constituency is not eligible to qualify as a candidate for election for that particular constituency.


(3) Subject to section 23, a person referred to under subsection (1):


(a) must not be disqualified from voting; or

(b) has not received a sentence including a suspended sentence of a term or terms of imprisonment which has not ended; or

(c) is not an undischarged bankrupt; or

(d) must be a citizen.


(4) For the purposes of this section person originating from a rural constituency means a person:


(a) whose:


(i) grand father; or

(ii) grand mother; or

(iii) father; or

(iv) mother,


is from that rural constituency; or


(b) who has been adopted by law or custom into a family originating from that rural constituency;


rural constituency means a constituency other than Port Vila, Luganville or any other constituency declared by the President, acting on the advice of the Electoral Commission, as not being a rural constituency.”


  1. After subsection 25(2)

Insert


“(2A) If a candidate wishes to contest the election in a rural constituency he or she must include in the declaration of candidature any document showing proof to the satisfaction of the Electoral Commission, that the candidate is a person originating from that rural constituency.


(2B) If there is doubt as to whether or not a candidate is a person originating from that rural constituency, the Electoral Commission may make any such inquiry as to the status of the candidate as it considers necessary.”


5 Paragraph 26(2)(b)


At the end of the paragraph delete “.”, substitute “;or”


6 After paragraph 26(2)(b)


Insert


“(c) in the case of a candidate wishing to contest the election in a rural constituency:


(i) if the candidate does not prove to the satisfaction of the Electoral Commission that he or she is a person originating from that rural constituency as provided under subsection 25(2A) ; or


(ii) after making an inquiry under subsection 25(2B) the Electoral Commission is satisfied that the candidate is not a person originating from that rural constituency.”


7 Paragraph 45(1)(c)


Delete “before or during an election”


8 Paragraph 45(1)(d)


Delete “after an election”


9 Paragraph 46(a)


Delete “either before, during or after an election”


10 After section 46


Insert


46A Application of sections 45 and 46


Sections 45 and 46 are applicable only from the period commencing at the end of the life of Parliament or at the date of the dissolution of Parliament under subarticle 28(2) or (3) of the Constitution, to and including, the polling day.”


  1. Paragraph 61(1)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute


“(a) the candidate or any agent of the candidate has contravened section 61A, 61B or 61C;”


  1. Subsection 61(2) and (3)

Repeal the subsections, substitute


“(2) Despite subsection (1), if on an election petition, the Supreme Court finds that there has been failure to comply with any provision of this Act, but the Court further finds that:


(a) it is satisfied that the election was conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in this Act; and


(b) such failure did not affect the result of the election,


the election of the successful candidate is not to be declared void.”


  1. After section 61

Insert


“61A Cut-off date for using representation allowance, any money or donations in kind


(1) A candidate for election must not spend, allocate or otherwise disburse to the constituency in which he or she is a candidate, any money, whether in the form of:


(a) his or her representation allowance – if the candidate is a member of Parliament; or


(b) any money obtained from any other source of funding, whether in the form of:


(i) cash donations; or

(ii) donations in kind,


from the period commencing at the end of the life of Parliament or at the date of the dissolution of Parliament under subarticle 28(2) or (3) of the Constitution, to and including, the polling day.


(2) For the purposes of this section,


donations in kind includes, but is not limited to, food or food products, transport, transport fares, machinery, cooking utensils, building materials and furniture.


61B Exceptions on polling day


Despite section 61A and subject to paragraphs 46(a) and (b), a candidate may, without the intention of corruptly influencing any person, provide food, drink, transport and accommodation to any person on the polling day.


61C Exception during the campaign period


(1) Despite section 61A and subject to paragraphs 46(a) and (b), a candidate may during the campaign period:


(a) present a gift of a custom mat or an amount not exceeding VT1,000, or both, to a chief or any person of similar authority in an area or village for the purposes of holding a campaign in that chiefs or persons village or area; or


(b) provide food, drink, entertainment, transport or accommodation only to his or her agents; or


(c) provide entertainment to the public for the purposes of entertaining the public during his or her campaign rally.


(2) For the purposes of this section, an agent of a candidate is a person approved by a candidate as a member of that candidate’s campaign team.


(3) To avoid doubt, this section applies only during the campaign period declared by the Electoral Commission for purposes of this Act.”


14 Schedule 7


Repeal the Schedule, substitute


SCHEDULE 7


Section 9A


EFATE
Manples area
Beverly Hills area
Belle View area
Salili area
End of International airport area
Bladiniere area
Part of Manples
Tamalesi area
Areas behind Chikau Store & Cellovilla at Tebakor up-to opposite Kawenu Demonstration School
Malapoa area
Blacksands area
Etas area
Teouma Ville area
Copravi area


SANTO
Show ground area
Solomons hill area
Capricone area
Negar area
Banban area
Jubilee farm area
Heken
Husa
Perol
Rata
Aore”


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