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Former leader still serving prison term when elected

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 25, 2009) – The Solomons Islands' High Court has ruled former Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza was not eligible to contest the Savo-Russell by-election he won last October.

It has found that at the time the election took place he was disqualified from running because he was still subject to a 12-month suspended prison term.

The by-election's four main losing candidates originally filed the petition challenging Sir Allan's candidacy, saying it was unconstitutional.

He was sentenced on charges of demanding with menaces, intimidation and simple larceny in 2008.

It is not yet clear what will be the impact of the ruling.

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