25th May, 2015
By Harrison Selmen
Posted: Monday, May 25, 2015 8:00 am
The recently passed amendment of the Municipalities Act to reserve one seat in every ward for women will see Luganville adopting the system for the first time when its constituents go to polls in July this year.
According to Dr. Howard Van Trease, a team including himself,Principal Electoral Officer, Charles Vatu, together with the Director of Local authorities, Ms. CherolAla, were in Luganville last week to conduct awareness on the new system that is being put in place.
A long time resident in Vanuatu before independence and now a Lecturer in Politics at the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Emalus Campus, Dr. Van Trease says the new system differs from the usual Municipal election system in Port Vila where people had to vote twice while in Luganville people are required to choose only one candidate, either a female or a male candidate.
Luganville has four wards and 13 seats. The four wards include the East Ward, West Ward, Central Ward and the Sarakata/Solway Ward. Of the 13 seats, four seats are reserved and allocated for women while 9 are for men.
“At the end of the day we could see four women candidates securing the four reserved seats. The government believes the new system could help minimize expenses during election,” Van Trease told Daily Post.
With the new system in place to support the progresse of women into higher decision-making level, Dr. Van Trease says during the awareness many critics raised their concern about too much attention being given to women. However, despite that he says the nation cannot deny the fact that there are many well educated women whose inclusion in the formal political arena could provide much needed assistance and support to complement and enhance men’s work at these high levels in addressing the many challenges of the socio-economic developments of communities today.
Daily Post sources in Luganville have confirmed that already more than five names have been submitted who could be contesting the Luganville Municipal Election for one of the four seats.
[Source: Vanuatu Daily Post]