A total of 15 political parties and some independents have fielded candidates to contest in the four provincial elections on March 23.

One of the political parties with two MPs, the Vanuatu National Party (VNP) has not fielded any candidates.

Some of the political parties are contesting the elections for the first time, according to the Principal Electoral Officer, Father Charles Vatu.

He also confirmed to the Daily Post that there is an increase of political parties as some smaller parties are entering the political arena for the first time.

The 15 political parties are; the Vanua’aku Party,(VP), the Union of the Moderate Parties (UMP), the National United Party (NUP), the Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP), the Nagriamel Political Movement, the Reunification of Moderates for Change (RMC), the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), the Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP), the Green Confederation Party (GCP), Vanuatu Leaders Party (VLP), the Anai Tagaro Indigenous Peoples Party, the Peoples Service Party (PSP), the Rural Development Party, the Peoples Unity for Development Party, and some Independent candidates.

The 14 political parties including the Independents brings the total of political groupings contesting the 4 provincial elections to 15.

Mr Vatu also confirmed that ballot boxes for the Tafea Outer Islands were flown to their polling stations yesterday, while the ballot boxes for Tanna will be flown to the island on the 20th as well the ballot boxes for Shefa provincial polling stations, Paama, Malekula, Ambrym, Pentecost, Maewo and Ambae will be delivered by the RVS Tukoro on March 20, ready for polling on the 23rd.

Polling date for all four provincial elections is March 23.

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