26 Oct 2012

NZ observers for Vanuatu election

8:15 pm on 26 October 2012

Vanuatu's electoral office says an international observer team, including New Zealanders, will monitor selected polling stations during the general election next Tuesday.

This follows recent criticism that the government had not requested international observers, nor taken up an offer of monitoring from Transparency International Vanuatu in the interests of ensuring a free and fair election.

The acting principal electoral officer, Lionel Kaluat, now says the government has decided to allow diplomatic missions based in Vanuatu to visit polling stations in the capital, Port Vila, and in rural Efate, as well as Tanna and Santo.

New Zealand, Australia, China, the European Union and staff from the United States embassy in Papua New Guinea will be involved in the observer exercise.