12 Jul 2016

Observers lament few women candidates in Nauru

9:34 am on 12 July 2016

The Commonwealth Observer Mission monitoring Nauru's election says the low number of women contesting the polls is disappointing.

Four women vied for a seat in the 19 member parliament but only one, Charmaine Scotty, was elected.

Ms Scotty was the only woman in the last parliament.

The mission's chairperson Anote Tong said the weekend election was conducted in a peaceful environment and the voters were able to cast their votes freely without fear or intimidation.

Tong at Pacific Islands Forum in 2015

Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

He urged the Electoral Commission to consider measures and provide an enabling environment to encourage increased representation of women in parliament.

But he said the group was pleased to note the high number of women involved as electoral officials and optimism expressed by women for the future.

In his interim statement Mr Tong encouraged the Electoral Commission to consider concerns about the high number of voters transferring from one constituency to another.

He also said the there needs to be a more transparent process around proxy votes.

"The current number of proxy voting each voter can cast could be reduced, possibly from five to one," said Mr Tong.

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