Vanuatu elections

MSG Observers commend Vanuatu election officials despite challenges in general elections

In its preliminary report, the MSG notes there is some room for improvement, and that administrative and logistical issues continue to pose challenges: “These relate to the better cleaning up of the electoral roll, safe and early transportation of ballot boxes, comprehensive educational awareness of voters' rights and voting processes, thorough training to familiarise all presiding officials and polling officials with the voting processes and electoral laws, rights and responsibilities of political party observers/agents, standardisation of the set-up of polling stations, consistency in th

Vanuatu livestreams official vote count

The Caretaker Minister responsible for the Electoral Office and Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat, said the decision to livestream is because of the current State of Emergency in place because of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

He said initially there were to be up to five observers in a room to witness the official counting but the State of Emergency orders state less than five people can assemble together.

Now observers are split into separate rooms within the electoral office and are witnessing the official count online.

Voting postponed in parts of Vanuatu due to bad weather

The Vanuatu Electoral Office confirmed this to journalists at the Vanuatu Daily Post this morning as voting continues in the rest of the country.

Principal electoral officer Joe Iati said extreme weather conditions are hampering efforts to get voting material and equipment set up at polling locations.

Voters in Torba province may also be affected.

It is understood the Vanuatu Electoral Act allows three days for polling to accommodate such delays.

Meanwhile voting is continuing across the rest of the country despite some minor logistical issues.

Former Vanuatu PM ruled ineligible to stand in upcoming election

Mr Nautman had planned to stand in the Tanna constituency under the Vanua'aku Pati ticket next week.

However, the electoral office rejected his application to run, because he is still serving a suspended sentence for which he lost his parliamentary seat in 2018.

Mr Natuman sought a review of the rejection but the Supreme Court declined to hear it.

His two year sentence finishes on 16 March - three days before the election.


Vanuatu election: Candidates warned over using RSE to garner votes

Murielle Meltenoven has received reports of candidates, who are also seasonal work agents, advising their clients to vote for them.

Ms Meltenoven told the Vanuatu Daily Post she had a video clip of an agent urging seasonal work applicants to vote for him if they wanted him to be sent overseas.

But the Commissioner said agents who acted in such a way would be dealt with according to the law.

There are 231 candidates campaigning to be part of the country's 52-seat Parliament.

The general election is set for 19 March.


Vanuatu voters warned about treating ahead of polls

An independent elections candidate in Vanuatu has warned voters to be wary of people who hand out items like televisions, cooking utensils and cash ahead of the March polls.

Johnny Arnhambat said the offering of such goods was part of a 40-year old mentality which he called "poly-tricks".

The Daily Post reports Mr Arnhambat saying that treating equated to bribery and was offered because candidates lacked a vision to benefit the country.

He claimed to have spent $US30,000 of his own money to prepare to contest the upcoming general election.

Over 300 apply to contest Vanuatu elections

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.

Vanuatu govt has not met people's expectations - Koanapo

The country is preparing to go to the polls in March, four years after the Charlot Salwai-led coalition came to power in a snap election, promising expansive reforms to bring political stability.

But Johnny Koanapo, who was part of that coalition until his Vanua'aku Pati was reshuffled out of Cabinet last year, said while there had been stability, a lot of promises were not met.

"I mean, frankly speaking, the government did not achieve everything that we wanted to do.

'With Commonwealth help we will see Vanuatu’s democracy become stronger'

This is a country with a population of 265,000 spread across more than 60 islands, some of which are a thousand kilometres apart.

The Vanuatu Electoral Office, which has a permanent staff of just seven, is today preparing for provincial polls next month. What makes this year's election different is that the commission has been aided by Michael Clancy, an electoral expert deployed by the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Commonwealth observer report on Vanuatu’s election released

The findings were revealed in a final report by the Group, who observed the pre-election preparations, voting and counting procedures.  The report has been sent to the Government, the Electoral Commission, the Speaker of Parliament and the Leader of the Opposition.