The declaration of the dates of election has been deferred to the September 2018 by the Minister of Justice and Community Services.
This has been attributed to the need of resolving the misconceptions on the new National Council of Chief Election Procedures Rules that was gazetted in June 2018.
Under the National Council of Chief Act, the Minister resume the role of the Chief as the Minister of Justice and Community Services has statutory power to set date for election of a President and the Minister set September 2018 as election date.
The office of the Malvatumauri Council of Chief is currently under an interim President with the administration of the CEO who will be responsible to carry out a transparent election process. The Election Procedures Rules will provide a democratic platform that will ensure that proper representative of the people according to the rule of customs from chiefs within the custom areas in Vanuatu to make representation to the Island and Malvatumauri Council of Chief.
The Officers of the Malvatumauri Council of Chief (MCC) and Customary Land Management Office (CLMO) were jointly deployed on the first round of consultation after the gazzetting Election Procedures Rule No. 98 of 2018 on the 16 May 2018. As of to date most of the area council’s election have been completed, without any dispute lodge on the process, the elected area councils and representative candidates to Island Councils will be duly recorded by the Office of the Malvatumauri Council of Chief.
There have been numerous grievances and complaints raised by some chiefs in few island of Vanuatu on issues of adopting of the new Election Rules and has come to the attention of the Office of the Minister. An instruction was provided to the office of Director General and the Administrator of Malvatumauri Council of Chief to deal with these issue first before he can make a declaration on election dates.
For the purpose of transparency and accountability, the Ministry and the Office of the MCC has decide to strategically carry out a second consultations on Area Councils and Island Councils in Vanuatu as to assist communities and our chiefs on understanding the election procedures rule in place.
The second round of consultation will be conducted on case by case basis which means where there is a complaint on election procedure of Nakamal, and area, on particular area or island the Malvatumauri will ensure that a team of consultation will be send to that particular area or island for further awareness on the new process of election rules, and a formal report be produced to the office of DG and Minister.
Upon completion of the consultation to these areas, the Minister will be declaring a date in September for the election of Islands and Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs.