Vanuatu snap election: International observers arrive

(L-R) Australian Observer Team in Vanuatu: Sam Lim MP, Australian High Commissioner Heidi Bootle, and Michael McCormack MP

There are a total of 49 regional and international observers currently in Vanuatu to monitor the running of the October 13 snap election.

The election was triggered after the dissolution of the country’s parliament on August 19 by President Nikenike Vurobaravu, and on the eve of a motion of no-confidence against the now caretaker prime minister Bob Loughman.

More than 300,000 people are expected to cast their vote in the snap election.

The chairman of Vanuatu’s Electoral Commission, Edward Kaltamat, confirmed observers from Kiribati, France, China, Fiji, Melanesian the Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat, the Pacific Islands Forum, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the UN Development are in the country.

Kaltamat said their presence will provide confidence to the voters on the transparency and credibility of the election.

The 49 observers have signed their code of conduct to guide them while they are in the field.

Kaltamat said some of them will stay in the capital to monitor the elections in Port Vila and the Efate constituency, and some will be deployed in the islands.

He said the observers will be briefed before being sent to the islands by aircraft. This is not the first time that international observers have monitored an election in Vanuatu.

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