5 Jan 2016

Replacement voter cards sent to Vanuatu's Tanna

1:10 pm on 5 January 2016

Vanuatu's electoral office has sent more than 20,000 new electoral cards to the island of Tanna, in the country's south.

The distribution follows complaints that many voters lost their cards when cyclone Pam devastated much of the island last March.

With seven seats in parliament, Tanna is Vanuatu's biggest constituency and some parties have expressed concern that many locals may be unable to vote in the snap election on January the 22nd.

The acting principal electoral officer, Joe Johnson Iati, says it's important that voters get their replacements soon.

"The offices are open now and we close down for duplicates on the 16th of January. It is very important that people who would like to exercise their fundamental right to vote, they can always make their way out to appropriate places where they can get their duplicate card."

Joe Johnson Iati says more than 200,000 voters have registered for the election and the official candidates' list will be released later this week, marking the official start of the campaign.

Ballot box in a Vanuatu election.

Ballot box in a Vanuatu election. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades