17 Jul 2004

Ballot box burning won't force by-election in Vanuatu

9:27 am on 17 July 2004

The Principal Electoral Officer in Vanuatu, Martin Tete, says there'll be no by-election on the island of Tanna.

Four ballot boxes in Tanna were stolen and burnt by an angry mob after the election a week ago.

But Mr Tete says the voting papers had been counted before they were destroyed.

He says he's since received assurances from the Registration Officer, who's responsible for coordinating the election in Tanna, that it's been conducted according to the law.

"He has confirmed that the election was proper and according to law, and he has received all the election reports from the presiding officer, who was at the poll, in good time after the closing of the election on the sixth, so he had written and confirmed to me verbally, that the election was carried in accordance with the existing electoral office law."