Electoral Commission dismisses Tanna concerns; President calls on all voters to take part; electoral roll grows

Get out and vote!The Electoral Commission has spoken out concerning worries expressed by certain political parties on Tanna about amended proxy voting conditions. Proxy vote categories 4 to 6 became effective January 13 and closed on January 15. The Tanna candidates or parties taking exception to the proxy changes claim another political party had more chance to take advantage of the new conditions. The Electoral Commission, however, says adequate notice was given. The SG of Tafea Province agrees. VMF officers are providing additional security on Tanna for the duration of the elections.

The Commonwealth election observer team has called on all eligible voters to cast their votes on Friday. President Baldwin Lonsdale, too, has urged eligible voters to fulfil their responsibility in this regard. You have to exercise your constitutional rights “to ensure the best and capable candidate is elected, a promising leader to lead this nation to the future”.

There is an increase in voters for this election despite those who have turned 18 since mid-year 2015 missing out on inclusion. The increase occurs because normal registration proceeded until mid-year. 200,159 voters are registered this time compared with just over 192,000 for the last national election in 2012. Here’s the breakdown for each constituency:

  • Torres constituency is a new one with 2,346 voters including certain islands generally regarded as Banks for one seat.
  • Banks constituency has 3,742 registered voters for one seat.
  • Santo 25,861 voters for 7 seats.
  • Malo / Aore has 3,620 for one seat.
  • Luganville has 13,167 for two seats.
  • Malekula has 17,141 registered voters for 7 seats.
  • Paama has 998 voters for 1 seat.
  • Ambrym has 5,537 voters inscribed for 2 seats.
  • Pentecost has 12,402 voters for 4 seats.
  • Ambae has 8,414 voters for 3 seats.
  • Maewo has 2,637 registered voters on the roll for one seat.
  • Efate has 30,479 on the electoral roll for 4 seats.,
  • Epi has 3,905 on the roll and 2 seats.
  • Tongoa has 2,095 voters and one seat.
  • Shepherds has 1,183 voters for one seat.
  • Port Vila has 37, 315 voters for 6 seats.
  • Tanna has 26,558 voters for 7 seats.
  • Tafea Outer Islands has 2,759 voters for one seat.

Friday, voting day, has been declared a public holiday.

The body of the late Heather Lini-Leo Matas is being flown to Pentecost this afternoon for burial after a service at the Tagabe Anglican Church this morning.

Air Vanuatu’s new Boeing 737-800 will arrive on February 1. It will have a new wi-fi entertainment system.