Supreme Court prevents Meriango splinter faction from contesting provincial elections under UMP banner

Logo of Vanuatu's Union of Moderate Parties (UMP)

The big story today concerns the ongoing division within the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP) and what this means for the coming provincial elections. An application to the Supreme Court by the jailed Serge Vohor and Ishmael Kalsakau was successful, and now prevents the Jacques Meriango faction from participating. The Electoral Commission has been ordered to revoke the candidacies approved by Meriango. Use of the “open hand” symbol, and the “ute ute hoo!” slogan are forbidden by anyone other than UMP. (Daily Post)

The provincial elections shortly to take place in four of Vanuatu’s six provinces will enable 114,000 people to vote. Torba province also votes later this year, and Principal Electoral Officer Charles Vatu says the cost of all these elections is budgeted at Vt 67 million. (Daily Post)

A new Port Vila hotel has been blessed ahead of its official opening. The brand new Vila Rose Hotel overlooks the Daily Post office and Tana Russet Plaza at Melcofe, has received its first guests. Father Stanley Ure performed the blessing Saturday. The gleaming building is an entirely Ni-Vanuatu venture and will be an important addition to the tourism scene. (Daily Post)