The number of Parliamentary seats in the Ambae Constituency will remain the same, despite almost half of their population relocating to Santo, Maewo and Efate.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Ambae Constituency, Alickson Vira confirmed to Daily Post that there are currently just over 5,000 people on Ambae. Prior to the Lombenben volcano disaster, the island's population was 11,000.

Director of Electoral Office, Joe Johnson Iati said Ambae will continue to maintain its three seats in the upcoming General Election.

The Civil Voter Registration team have been dispatched to PENAMA Province this week to conduct registration process on Pentecost, Ambae and Maewo.

Director Iati said upon the completion of civil registration, the Electoral Office will be able to have a confirmed total number of registered voters for Ambae constituency.

He also confirmed that less number of registered voters as per a polling station on Ambae will affect the establishment of the respective polling stations.

The Electoral Office's advice to the people of Ambae is to start moving back to their island if they want to vote for their leader.

An eligible Ambae voter must make sure he or she is residing on Ambae more than three months before the election to qualify to cast his or her vote.

Iati further explained that this only applies to new registered voters.

When asked to comment on issue for proxy votes for those who are unable to go back to Ambae, the Electoral Office director reiterated that Proxy votes are issued only under certain circumstances and that includes, old people, people living with disability, the sick and people who are engaged with seasonal work overseas.

"If you are residing on another island, it is your responsibility to go back to your island to vote," Iati stated.

The civil registration team are currently undertaking a mass registration across Vanuatu and they are assisting people with registration for Birth certificates, updating the electoral roll, issuance of Electoral Cards and National IDs.

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