Vanuatu Votes: All female candidates miss out in election

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02nd November, 2012

Vanuatu votes 2012 (photo: Graham Crumb,

None of the 10 women who contested the Vanuatu national election on Tuesday have succeeded in winning a seat.  The country’s electoral commission won’t announce the final results until next week, but according to unofficial counts none of the 52 seats in parliament will go to a female candidate.

Jenny Ligo, one of five women running in the capital Port Vila, said they failed to get the backing of female voters.  “We didn’t get the support from the community, especially the women of Vanuatu. This is a big blow for women, especially in Vanuatu,” she said.  Letty Kaltonga, a candidate for the Labor Party who also ran in Port Vila, said she was disappointed with the reluctance to back new, female faces.

“It’s to do with the system in place, it’s to do with the time frame of the campaign, it’s to do with how people look at it, and it’s to do again with competing with heavyweights in Port Vila alone.”  Ms Ligo also accused the country’s Department of Women and church leaders of not doing enough to change the situation.  Both she and Ms Kaltonga have vowed to come up with new strategies in time for the next election in 2016.  A record 346 candidates from 32 parties contested this year’s election.

Radio Australia via Solomon Star News

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