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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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

Vanuatu Provincial Elections Open Today
4 provinces historically voted with Opposition, UMP

By Ricky Binihi

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Feb. 13, 2013) – Voters in the Provinces of Tafea, Shefa, Malampa and Penama will go to polls today to elect their new councilors for their respective Provincial Government Councils.

Head of State President Iolu Abil has declared today, Tuesday February 12 a Public Holiday in the provinces that will hold elections.

Politically, all the provinces that go to the polls today had been previously run by the Opposition Vanua’aku Party and the Union of Moderate Parties, and it would be interesting to see if they are major changes after today’s elections.

The Tafea and Shefa Province used to be run by VP candidates until the Shefa President changed allegiance to join the Vanuatu Leba and contest the Shefa Provincial Election under their banner in the elections.

Union of Moderate Parties controlled the Malampa and Penama Provinces until the then-Minister of Internal Affairs George Wells suspended the provinces in 2011 over allegations they mishandled the funds of the Councils in the Northern Island Stevedoring Company Limited.

The people of Penama will vote in 16 new councilors, Malampa will vote 21 councilors, Shefa 18 councilors and Tafea 19 councilors.

But the number of voters in the constituencies of the Provinces will be like that of the 2012 Elections, as the Electoral Office has not updated the Electoral Roll because double voting and dead people voting will still be expected in these elections.

Daily Post will carry unofficial results tomorrow.

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