3 May 2002

Bad weather forces Vanuatu poll into second day

10:55 am on 3 May 2002

Voters in parts of Vanuatu will get a second chance to vote in the general election after yesterdays vote was affected by bad weather and faulty ballot papers.

Mostly, the poll went smoothly, however the acting principal electoral officer, Jeanette Bolenga, says a flooded river disrupted voting at some booths in the Santo Island rural constituency requiring the vote to be spread over two days.

A longer vote is also necessary because of the weather in parts of Pentecost and Eromago.

'Meanwile the vote in Luganville on Santo was suspended until today to allow for replacement ballot booklets after one candidate's photo was place above another's name.

Jeanette Bolenga says there's a very clear reason why most of the other polling booths closed on time.

"It's probably the case that voters who have voted more than once because they have multiple registartions on the roll in the past have just voted once. It's not that people are not voting. People have supported it, but they have supported what the law requires - one man, one vote."

Jeanette Bolenga.

Meanwhile, in unofficial results late last night, the traditional parties have been the successful ones with the Vanua'aku Party claiming seven seats, the National United Party one and the Union of Moderate Parties one.

The Vanua'aku Party also claims that its leader and current prime minister, Edward Natapei, has won the Port Vila constituency.with Greens leader, Moana Carcasses in second place.

The top six candidates in the constituency will all be elected to parliament.