Hon Leinavao Tasso

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Hon Leinavao Tasso

Party: Vanua'aku Pati

Term: 2004-2008

Electorate: Epi

Province: Shefa

Political Status: Minister for Education (2007-8) & MP

In 2004, Tasso was elected to Vanuatu’s parliament for the Epi constituency. The only other woman to be elected that year to the parliament of 52 members, Isabelle Donald, also represented Epi, having first been elected in 2002. Their achievement was despite much opposition from men to the idea of having female candidates. Both were members of the Vanua’aku Pati (VP), founded by Walter Lini, the first prime minister of Vanuatu. They both also had a longstanding commitment to voluntary community service through local church organizations, rather than through the networks of the Vanuatu National Council of Women (VNCW), which was sometimes looked down on for being inefficient and beset by the same internal squabbling as the major political parties. In time, their role as politicians came to be respected and they were permitted to hold discussions with the village chiefs.[1][2][3][4]

Tasso and Donald took turns holding ministerial portfolios with Tasso serving as Ministry of Education from 2007 to 2008. In the 2008 elections Donald was re-elected but not Tasso. Tasso lodged a complaint against Donald, accusing her of bribing voters by giving them food prior to the election. The court ruled against Donald, resulting in a by-election, which neither woman won.[5]

Source: Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leinavao_Tasso