50 candidates expected to contest in Port Vila
Political observers in Port Vila have predicted that there is likely to be close to 50 political candidates to stand in the Port Vila constituency in 2012 general elections. But this figure could be higher.
Split within major political parties is one reason this number is likely to increase. Another reason is that almost all existing political parties are facing difficult times within their own ranks where more than two or three of their senior officers have vowed to contest on their party tickets despite not being approved officially by party executive.
“Major and even small political parties are faced with situation where members of their executive went ahead and announced their candidature without prior approval of their national congresses,” one political observer told Daily Post.
He said some major political parties have already clashed in pre-campaign or political awareness ahead of the official political campaign dates.
Another political observer said there are political rifts amongst some major political parties supporters and executives because of the propose names of candidates that they are not satisfied with.
“This is one reason why some politicians, defect to other political parties because, they either not accepted to run on their party ticket, or simply not satisfy with propose candidates, ahead of party congresses,” one political observer stated.
It is predicated that the number of Independent candidates in the 2012 general elections could double that of the 2008 general elections.
“Many people are even looking at voting a candidate from their own island or province rather than for a political party,” another political observer said. Another said the popular public opinion this time is to choose candidates who they believe can speak for the nation as a whole rather than politicians who only stand to serve the interest of their few supporters on political handouts platform.
“The 2012 general elections will be the most challenging yet in the history of this country because the masses of voters especially in Port Vila constituency are no longer ignorant of development issues whether local, regional or international.
“This country is becoming more educated than before and therefore politically voters want candidates who can speak for them and the whole country in parliament,” one young political candidate told Daily Post last week.
51 candidates from political parties and independent tickets stood in 2008 but only six made it to parliament.
The number of registered voters for Port Vila was 22,308 but only 15,994 cast their votes which means that around 6,314 registered voters did not cast their votes or exercise their constitutional rights to elect a representative into parliament.
One political observer told Daily Post: “This is a huge difference that could have made a difference and we hope every registered voters this year will cast their vote to make a difference for the development of this nation after October 30 onward,” he said.
Port Vila constituency has six parliamentary seats.