Port Vila Municipal Elections Underway In Vanuatu

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Among 232 candidates, 42 women to contest reserved seats

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 8, 2014) – A total of 28,000 registered voters in Port Vila, Vanuatu, are going to the polls today to elect the capital’s new municipal council of 12 general seats and for the first time, 5 reserved seats for women.

Chairman of the Electoral Commission Killion Taleo says 232 candidates are contesting the elections – 42 for the five reserved seats for women and 190 for the 12 general seats.

Eight polling stations in the city’s five wards open at 7.30 this morning for registered voters to start casting their ballots and the polling stations will close at 4.30 p.m. today

Chairman Taleo explains that each voter will make two choices when entering the polling both – one for a general seat candidate and the other for a reserved seat candidate and deposit the two envelopes in their designated ballot boxes.

Taleo explains further that voting for the reserved seats is on a first-past the post system while the general seats poll is on a preferential voting arrangement.

Principal Electoral Officer, Charles Vatu says voters at the Malapoa/Tagabe Ward will vote at the Anglican Church Hall at Tagabe and Vila North School, Anabrou/Melcoffee Ward at Anabrou School, Freswota/Tassiriki voters at either Ex-FOL or Freswota School polling stations, Central Ward at the Town Hall and Dumbea Hall, and the South Ward voters at the Chiefs’ Nakamal.

Electoral Commission Chairman Taleo says provisional results from the elections should be known tonight or tomorrow while the official results will be known on Thursday.

He says the future of the four-term trial with the women’s reserved seats for Port Vila Municipal Council will start to be tested after today when the results of those women who are contesting the general seats fare against those on the reserved seats list.

Taleo explains that the Port Vila Municipal election is a closed poll that ought not to be confused with the election for the constituency’s Parliamentary seats which involves nine polling stations and Noumea in New Caledonia.

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