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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (May 28, 2002 – Radio New Zealand International)--Vanuatu’s opposition parties have called for the resignation of the Electoral Commission over the long delay in releasing the official May 2 election results and the mistakes that occurred.

Official results were released almost three weeks after the election.

An error in the number of votes cast for the Espiritu Santo rural seat saw Vatambae Reme from the opposition Melanesian Progressive Party as the successful candidate, winning by 401 votes.

The Union of Moderate Parties disputed the results and a recount showed that UMP candidate Jean Alain Mahe had the numbers to retain the seat.

The Commission’s Chairman, Sethy Regenvanu, described the incident as a "mystery."

He said his staff recounted the votes cast for Mr. Reme five times and cannot explain the reversal.

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International.

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