RELEASE: Forum election Observers head to Tanna for Vanuatu election polling

PIF-SUVA, Fiji, October 13th, 2022–The Pacific Islands Forum election observer team to the Vanuatu snap Elections are in Tanna for polling day.

The Forum Observer team comprises Cook Islands Election official Ms Veronica Papatua, Pacific Civil Society rep Ms Louchrisha Hussain, CEO of the Pacific Citizens Constitutional Forum, and PIFs Adviser, Teanuanua Nicole.

There are 219 candidates from a range of party and independent backgrounds contesting 52 seats to the Vanuatu Parliament. Eight of the candidates are women.

This will be the fourth Pacific Islands Forum Election Observer Mission to Vanuatu. The last mission was in 2020, following previous Election Observer Missions in 2016–also for a snap election, and 2004.

Commending Vanuatu for the invitation to have election observers on the ground, Forum Secretary General Henry Puna said the mission would “support leaders and voters alike to appreciate the transparency and power of democratic process and the constitutional right to vote amongst our sovereign Pacific nations”.

“It is very much a day for voters to appreciate the power of their human right to choose. Our Forum Election Observer missions, undertaken under the 2000 Biketawa Declaration, will continue to serve as an independent source of analysis supporting our member governments as they uphold that democratic right.”

During its mission to Vanuatu, the Forum team will continue meeting a wide range of stakeholders including government representatives, candidates, civil society and faith-based organisations.

The Forum Election Observer reports are submitted to the host government in the first instance and will be finalised before public release. –ENDS