3:45pm (Fiji Standard Time), Wednesday
11 March 2020
SUVA, Fiji: The Pacific Islands Forum will deploy an election observer team to the upcoming Vanuatu General Election, to be held on 19 March 2020.
The Pacific Islands Forum Election Observer team comprises of Mr Pita Vuki, Supervisor of Elections and Commissioner, Tonga Electoral Commission, Ms Sylvanna Deireragea, Deputy Electoral Commissioner, Nauru Electoral Commission. The team will be supported by officials from the Forum Secretariat.
Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, thanked the Government of Vanuatu for the invitation to observe the election. “I commend Vanuatu for its commitment to the transparency of its electoral processes, and I am pleased to note that Vanuatu is demonstrating consistency through the inclusion of independent observers in its elections”
This will be the third Pacific Islands Forum Election Observer Mission to Vanuatu, having previously observed in 2004 and 2016.
The mission’s Team Leader, Mr Pita Vuki, was part of the Forum’s previous mission to Vanuatu and said he is looking forward to observing the progress since. “I observed the 2016 snap election when the Electoral Commission and Electoral Office had significantly less time to prepare. I look forward to observing the elections in Vanuatu where all stakeholders have had the full electoral cycle to prepare”
Forum Election Observer missions are undertaken under the 2000 Biketawa Declaration and seek to act as an independent source of analysis for Pacific Island Forum elections and strengthen Pacific democracy.
During the course of its mission, the Forum team will meet with a wide range of stakeholders including government representatives, candidates, civil society and faith based organisations.