Melanesian Spearhead, Forum To Send Election Observers To Vanuatu

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Short notice missions comes at request of Vanuatu

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 8, 2016) – The former Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Francis Billy Hilly, has been appointed to lead the Melanesian Spearhead Group's observer mission for Vanuatu's snap elections.

The mission was established at short notice following a request from Vanuatu to the MSG's current chair, Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

It will be drawn from the MSG's member states, including the FLNKS movement in New Caledonia.

Vanuatu is the second country the MSG will send an observer mission to; the first was Fiji's elections in 2014.

[PIR editor’s note: On Jan. 7, 2016 RNZI reported that ‘The Pacific Islands Forum has accepted an invitation from Vanuatu to send an observer group to the snap elections on the 22nd of January. ... The Forum's acting director of political governance and security says delegates from Tonga and the Cook Islands will travel to Vanuatu next week with Forum executives.’]

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