Voters in Vanuatu go to the polls on Friday for a snap general election called after 14 government MPs were jailed for corruption. A total of 264 candidates, standing in 52 seats, have had little more than seven weeks to campaign. Most are members of 36 political parties, many of which have formed in the lead-up to the election. There are still more than 50 independents in the mix. Observers have said one of the issues with the snap poll was that there were thousands of dead people still eligible to vote — some reports claiming as many as 55,000 registered voters were no longer alive.
The Electoral Commission acknowledged the electoral rolls were inaccurate but said deleting the names of deceased voters was proving difficult because of the need to seek death confirmations from relatives.
Foreign election observers in Vanuatu said their biggest challenge would be flying to outer islands and remote polling places after Air Vanuatu cancelled some domestic flights due to engine problems.