Is dual citizenship a threat to Vanuatu? No, but unregulated political financing is

By Anna Naupa and Nick Howlett

Part 3 of a 3-part series on Vanuatu’s Electoral Integrity

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

< Read Part 2: ‘Is diversity of political representation possible in Vanuatu?’

 

Vanuatu passportThis month marks the two-year anniversary of the constitutional amendment to permit dual citizenship in Vanuatu.

In the run-up to the 2016 General Election, some political campaigns have cast dual citizenship as a threat to Vanuatu, and have questioned whether this policy risks political domination by foreigners.

But is Vanuatu’s democracy really at risk of being dominated by foreigners acquiring dual citizenship? The short answer is no. However, when it comes to the financing of political candidates and parties in Vanuatu, foreign involvement in politics is completely Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »


Ghostbusters: it’s time to deal with Vanuatu’s phantom voters

By Anna Naupa and Nick Howlett

Part 1 of a 3-part series on Vanuatu’s Electoral Integrity

Read Part 2: ‘Is diversity of political representation possible in Vanuatu?’ >
Read Part 3: ‘Is dual citizenship a threat to Vanuatu? No, but unregulated political financing is’ >
 
When Vanuatu goes to the polls on 22 January, 2016, an estimated 2,000 ni-Vanuatu youth, and several hundred recently naturalized adult citizens, will be denied a vote due to the impossibly short deadline for voter registration. Not only is this a denial of the democratic right to vote, it highlights the inaccuracy of Vanuatu’s electoral roll.

In Vanuatu’s 2012 General Election, an estimated 55,000 dead people were included on the electoral roll as eligible voters, about 140% more voters than official census data says there should be. This article suggests a simple and cost-effective way of ensuring the integrity of Vanuatu’s electoral roll so these ‘phantom voters’ don’t come back to haunt us. Read the rest of this entry »