Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

17 Losing Candidates Call For By-Election In Vanuatu
Luganville contenders allege shortcuts, ‘crooked dealings’

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 8, 2012) – 17 candidates in the Luganville constituency, whom official election results declared unsuccessful have signed a joint petition to the electoral commission, calling for a by-election over allege corrupted practices in Vanuatu’s 2012 October 30 Elections.

The 17, joined by a reported 100 political executive members, stood by their electors for a mass clean up after much confirmed evidence of corruption surfaced after deliberations on various serious issues which have occurred during the Election Day.

Many observers and simple voters in most of the polling stations in Luganville came forward and reported in the meeting held on Sunday, as witnesses of reported crooked dealings by two winning candidates according to unofficial results.

Report also say the office in Luganville has representatives of the electoral office, who were allegedly were directly involved in a lot of short cuts and maladministration issues in this current election.

This revolves around new cards, high number of proxy approval and allocations.

The other serious issues which were found was the case involving the national head office of the electoral commission regarding a candidate whose photo did not match his name in various polling stations.

More specific detail of the matter is on the petition to the election dispute committee with full statements clearly spelled out and signed by witnesses.

The 17 candidates and their executives believe there is a strong case for a by-election.

Whilst frustration is high amongst the electors in Luganville over these issues, the 17 candidates and their executives made an appeal to their 3,000 plus supporters in Luganville to let the law deal with the problem and asked everyone to remain calm while the executives take the matter before the commission.

Questions were raised over the registration of 10,800 odd registered voters during the recent election, yet only 5,000 people were believed to be living in Luganville as confirm voters.

It was reported that one of the campaigners during their public rally affirmed and confirmed that during previous election in 2008, a lot of new cards registered in any names to push the win of his candidate George Wells.

Reports said similar problem encountered during the process have reached its height where some people require answering allegations in court.

Prominent leaders such ranging from chiefs, church leaders and women leaders, call for the electoral commission to quickly and seriously consider this case in Luganville as soon as possible to avoid serious threats to their security and the welfare of innocent people.

Luganville has experienced several civil unrests during past circumstances but on other smaller issues. This case is no exception and the government is urged to put strong measures of control and deal with corruption instead of innocent people taking laws in their own hands themselves.

The group and their electors are pursuing their case for a clean and peaceful resolution.

Whilst allegations of witchcraft practice also surfaced were highly amongst these winning candidates and official election results are pending announcement, many who are motivated for a better and uncorrupted government tomorrow are very frustrated over unofficial results but the.

They say inappropriateness of the administration of the electoral office and commission for this national election and tainted transactions needs to be challenged.

Vanuatu Daily Post:
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