23 May 2002

Vanuatu election monitors says too many people careless with voter registration cards

4:28 pm on 23 May 2002

The Elections Observer Group of this month's poll in Vanuatu says it has identified the need for far-reaching reform in the way elections are conducted.

The Chairperson of the Group, Pastor Willie David Saul, says they were also surprised at the numbers of voters who were careless with their electoral ID cards.

He says many people failed to produce them or presented damaged cards that officials rejected.

He says lost or damaged cards may have cost some parties dearly.

Pastor Saul says voters should assign high security to their electoral cards decsribing them as their passport to freedom of choice, freedom from fear of intimidation, and freedom of political association.

The Elections Observer Group is still to complete its formal report on the poll.

The Government and the Electoral Commission have indicated that this report will be used as the basis for electoral reform.