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10 ready to contest Gela

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Mark Kemakeza

TEN candidates will contest the by-election for the Parliamentary seat of Gela in the Central Islands Province on February 27.

But the Electoral Commission said the former Member of Parliament for the constituency, Mark Kemakeza who lost the seat following a 14-month jail term, is not amongst the 10 candidates.

Because he was disqualified, he fielded in his wife, who was one of the two women to contest the seat.

Kemakeza was jailed last year for stealing constituency funds.

The Electoral Commission said the candidates are qualified to contest the by-election after nominations closed January.

Meanwhile, the Commission reiterates that it has been doing its best to ensure voters will go to the polls freely.

The Gela by-election is the fifth since Solomon Islands held its national parliamentary elections in mid-2010.

Previous by-elections were held in the constituencies of Baegu-Asifola, Shortland Islands, North Malaita, and East Areā€™Are.