Vanuatu lost its elections expert – late Martin Tete – in March this year but his contributions to the development of democracy in the country will always be remembered.

The new office of the Vanuatu Electoral Commission, fittingly called ‘Martin J Tete Building ’ is testimony to this.

The Electoral Commission building comes under New Zealand’s Vanuatu Electoral Environment Project. The project funding through UNDP helps to strengthen and support the Vanuatu Electoral Office to improve public confidence in Vanuatu’s electoral system.

Before the unveiling of the signage and cutting of ribbon of the new building last Friday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs, Ishmael Kalsakau performed a custom to the paramount Chief of Ifira, Mantoi Kalsakau III.

In his speech, NZ High Commissioner, Jonathan Schwass also acknowledged Mr Martin Tete’s lasting contribution to the development of democracy in Vanuatu.

DPM Kalsakau reiterated the poor turnout of voters in the previous election and confirmed that the government is working on looking at options of improving voting.

He mentioned the government may look at the compulsory voting alternative.

Electoral Commission Chairman Edward Kaltamat also handed over late Tete’s belongings to his son at that time.

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