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Port Vila Municipal seats increase by 3

Internal Affairs Minister Patrick Crowby.

The Port Vila Municipal seats have increased from 14 to 17 seats. This is an increase of 3 seats.

Explaining the reasons for the increase to local media, minister responsible for the Port Vila Municipal Council, Patrick Crowby, said his decision to increase the seats by 3 is because of the growing population in Port Vila Municipal boundaries which now stands at 39,998.

“There has never been an increase in the Port Vila Municipal Council seats since Independence 33 years ago. And the population growth rate as is now justifies the decision to increase the number of seats in the Port Vila Municipality,” Minister Crowby said yesterday.

The increase in the number of seats and rearrangements of the wards was signed by the minister on May 8 and gazetted by the State of Law Office to be effective on November 9, 2013 when Port Vila will go to poll to elect new councillors.

The new ward arrangements and number of seats in those wards are now; Malapoa-Tagabe 3 seats, Anabaouru-Melcofe 3 seats, Freshwota-Tassiriki 4 seats, Center 4 seats, South 3 seats bringing the total of the seats in the Port Vila Municipal Council to 17 with 3 new additional seats.

The order and rearrangements was made by Internal Affairs Minister Patrick Crowby in accordance with powers conferred upon him under the Municipalities Act Cap 126 (Composition of Council and Wards) ( Amendment ) Order No. 2013 amending order No 21 of 1980.

On the question of whether this is part of the 100 Day Plan of the new government, Minister Patrick Crowby replied: “This is a new initiative and not part of the 100 Day Plan. I will release the 100 Day Plan for the Ministry of Internal Affairs on July 11.”

“The women of the Freshwota areas have told me many times when the Freshwota area will be separated from the Anabouru Council area. Today I have just done this and believe that will make them happy,” Crowby said.

The Internal Affairs Minister confirmed at the same time that residents holding red voting cards but living in the areas of NTM, Port Vila City College, Beverly Hills and in Noumea, New Caledonia, cannot vote on the November 2013 Municipal Elections because those areas are not included in the current Municipal Council Boundaries as required under the Municipal Act.

He said they are allowed to Vote in the national parliamentary elections but not in the Municipal Council elections for Port Vila because their areas are not included in the Port Vila Municipal Council boundaries as defined in the boundaries act.