Vanuatu’s Snap Elections

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52 seats were at stake in Vanuatu’s parliamentary election. In the Parliament, fifty-two members are elected in 8-single seat and 10-multi seat constituencies by single non-transferable vote to serve a four-year term. In any election, each voter casts one vote for one candidate in a multi-candidate race for multiple offices. The candidates with the most votes fill the posts. For example, in a three-seat constituency, the three candidates with the highest number of votes would win office. Multi-seat constituencies range from two to seven members elected in each constituency.

The snap elections came after President Baldwin Lonsdale made the extraordinary declaration to dissolve parliament following a months long political stalemate. This resulted in 15 MPs getting convicted for corruption.

Early results revealed that some veteran politicians were voted out of office and suggested there were new faces in parliament.

Vanuatu’s President, Baldwin Lonsdale

Vanuatu’s President, Baldwin Lonsdale

The snap elections promised a new chapter for the country, but it is still unclear whether the election result will facilitate the political stability of needed to kick start economic recovery.

Supporters back their candidate on the campaign trail

Supporters back their candidate on the campaign trail

Despite concerns before elections about electoral roll inaccuracies, low voter turnout and inefficient processes, the Vanuatu elections demonstrated active democracy at work. Internal observers praised the Electoral Commission for running a peaceful and orderly election, noting the vote counting was transparent and the media played a positive roll throughout the electoral process.

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