Time to get ready: cyclone headed our way [updated]

Infrared satelliite image by NOAA

[Update #2 10:15pm 8/4 VUT] Vanuatu Meteorological Services has issued a Tropical Cyclone Warning for a tropical low currently still sitting between Pentecost, Malakula and Ambrym at letter G, number 6 on the Vanuatu cyclone tracking map. The system is not yet a named tropical cyclone, but is expected to form by 6am (Sunday 9/4) as it travels slowly south, according to VMS’s latest warning #5.

Gale force wind warnings are in effect for the Banks group, and Malampa, Penama, and Sanma provinces. Gale force winds are predicted for Shefa province within the next 24 hours. The expected cyclone may reach Category 1 strength offshore west of Efate by 5am tomorrow (Sunday 9/4) before moving towards New Caledonia.

Tropical Cyclone Forecast Track Map Number 9 issued at 8:59 pm VUT Saturday 8 April 2017

Vanuatu Meteorological Services advises residents to listen to the radio or visit to their website for updates.

We will actively update this page as news breaks. 

In other news: Read the rest of this entry »


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 Read the rest of this entry »

National Chiefs Day celebrated with opening of new Malvatumauri nakamal

The new Malvatumauri nakamal under construction last month. Photo © Vanuatu Daily Digest

The new Malvatumauri nakamal under construction last month. Photo: Vanuatu Daily Digest

National Chiefs’ Day was being celebrated yesterday, and this year’s highlight of the celebration has been the Read the rest of this entry »

Provincial elections set for 23 March in four of Vanuatu’s six provinces

voting Vanuatu election

Campaigning for provincial elections in four provinces begins on 6 March and ends on 20 March, with elections on the 23rd. Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea provinces will be voting for their new provincial councils. Candidate applications open on February 13. One might question whether the campaign hasn’t started already, as the Opposition is claiming Read the rest of this entry »

Is diversity of political representation possible in Vanuatu?

By Anna Naupa and Nick Howlett

Part 2 of a 3-part series on Vanuatu’s Electoral Integrity
Vanuatu’s women deserve better political representation. Source: Vanuatu Department of Women’s Affairs

Vanuatu’s women deserve better political representation. Photo: Vanuatu Department of Women’s Affairs

< Read Part 1: ‘Ghostbusters: it’s time to deal with Vanuatu’s phantom voters’

Read Part 3: ‘Is dual citizenship a threat to Vanuatu? No, but unregulated political financing is’ >

VANUATU’S NATIONAL ELECTIONS give citizens the opportunity to shape the nation’s future through their choice of political representation. Electoral boundaries and the total number of constituencies have shifted over the years in response to demographic changes. A recent media report suggested that electorates will be again be modified sometime before 2020. Today, there are 52 seats in the national parliament, with MPs drawn from most of Vanuatu’s different islands.

However, this seeming diversity masks the lack of representation of different demographic groupings within Parliament: women, young people, people with disability, religious minorities and other groups that are not part of the mostly male political elite are effectively excluded. The omission of a significant proportion of the population disadvantages Vanuatu’s national development, because their contributions and needs are left out of the political debate. Read the rest of this entry »