2 Jul 2004

NGO regrets lack of outside monitors for Vanuatu poll

10:44 am on 2 July 2004

Transparency International in Vanuatu says it regrets it's been unable to put together an international team to monitor next week's election - as it did two years ago.

TI says there are glaring faults in the electoral system- and in spite of several independent assessments, political parties have shown no willingness to do anything about the problems.

President Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says these include reckonings - that up to 40 per cent of the names on the rolls are invalid.

She says monitors can do a lot of practical work, and used an example of her officials, finding ballot boxes left unattended so they provided the security until electoral officials returned.

"And pointing out to the electoral officer that had to check different situation, which otherwise might have been prone for checking; so I think that's probably what we regret. And it's also having outside observers, automatically put a bit more pressure on the whole operation."