7 Apr 2004

Record number of candidates to contest Vanuatu presidential election

10:46 am on 7 April 2004

The Acting Deputy Chief Electoral Officer in Vanuatu says this week's presidential election will be contested by the highest number of candidates since independence in 1980.

Tom Alick-Kalo says 31 candidates have put their names forward to contest the election on Thursday.

Mr Alick-Kalo says he expects the number of candidates to increase even more in future elections because the only qualification is that people must be indigenous Vanuatu.

"It is Open, so that means every ni-Vanuatu is able to contest the presidential election. The ladies too are qualified to contest this election, but so far we don't receive any candidates from females, only from 31 males."

The Acting Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Tom Alick-Kalo.

The candidates include the Anglican Bishop, the country's first president, two former police commissioners and a former speaker of the house.