Over 300 apply to contest Vanuatu elections

Vanuatu Electoral Office (VEO) has confirmed more than 300 applicants have lodged their applications to contest the March 19 general election.

Director of the VEO, Johnson Iati, said the electoral commission is currently conducting background checks on every applicant to determine their eligibility to contest.

The electoral commission will screen every applicant as they must comply with the country’s law on elections.

Candidates have to be a minimum of 25 years old and cannot have an undischarged prison sentence or bankruptcy, or owe government and provinces any monies.

It takes a period of 20 days for the screening process between the closing and declaration of candidates.

The closing of the lodging of candidature application forms took place at 4.30pm on February 11, 2020.

The declaration of the qualified candidates for parliament general election is scheduled for the 2 March 2020 and after the declaration political campaigns will commence on the same day (2nd of March) and will close at 12 midnight on 16 March.

It requires 14 weeks for campaign or two weeks and three clear days before the polling date.

The VEO also confirmed a record number of political parties to contest the general election next month.

A number of them were formed just recently purposely to contest the elections on March 19 2020 for the next 52-seat legislature.

The longest existing parties including Vanua’aku parti (VP) and Union of Moderates Parties (UMP) have approved more than 10 candidates each to contest the general elections.

VP plans to reunite all supporters who have switched their allegiance to other political parties, aiming to increase its seats for the next legislature.

VP targets a simple majority as it used to be in the National Parliament from 1980 to 1991, adopting a new approach to regain the support of its supporters.


Photo supplied 

Tensly Sumbe