5 Nov 2009

Melanesian Progressive Party to boycott Port Vila municipal elections

4:18 pm on 5 November 2009

Vanuatu's Melanesian Progressive Party has called for a boycott of today's Port Vila municipal elections.

The MPP of the former primer minister Barak Sope says this is in protest against the electoral commission's decision to annul two polling stations in Port Vila constituency.

The electoral commission took the decision after they noticed that many people who are registered in the areas of the two polling stations were rural residents and not from the urban area.

The constitution stipulates that voters must vote at the place where they reside and not in their work place.

The ruling Vanua'aku Party challenged the decision of the commission last week but failed.

Over 5,000 voters have been registered in the two polling stations and they voted during the general elections in 2008.

Mr Sope has called on his party's supporters not to go to vote today.

He says that he will go to court because such a decision denies the constitutional rights of the voters who live in the urban area.