28 Jan 2016

Election bribery reports a concern to Vanuatu NGO

9:14 pm on 28 January 2016
Voter waits to choose a candidate for the snap election in Port Vila.

Voter waits to choose a candidate for the snap election in Port Vila. Photo: RNZI/Jamie Tahana

The number of allegations of bribery and vote buying from the outer islands over last week's snap election in Vanuatu has raised the concern of Transparency International.

TI Vanuatu's chairman, Dr Willie Tokon, said he had received about a dozen reports, including some landowners who threatened to shut down a school if people didn't vote for a particular candidate.

He said the alleged incidents were largely in rural areas, away from those polling stations manned by international observers.

"These reports are coming from Banks and Torres in the north, Ambae, Pentecost, and Ambrym - all the rural areas. Vila and Santo were pretty clean because we had these international monitors here, but these reports are coming mainly from the islands."

Willie Tokon advised that anyone with evidence of improper practices should send it to TI.

However, he admitted Friday's election appeared to have been cleaner than previous ones.

Election day in Vanuatu

Election day in Vanuatu Photo: RNZI Jamie Tahana

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