Vanuatu snap election will require VT100 million budget

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The cost of a snap election, similar to a Vanuatu general election is over VT100 million (approximately over US$860,000).

Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Edward Kaltamat, who disclosed the above said at present there is no budget for a snap election.

Chairman Kaltamat said recently they spent over VT7 million (US$60,00) for the Presidential election, but this was budgeted for.

They are now preparing for the Malekula by-elections.

He said in the event that the parliament is dissolved as requested by the Council of Ministers (COM), the government will find the funds for the snap election.

The Department of Finance also said they haven’t budgeted to pay for the entitlements of the Ministers, Members of Parliament (MPs) and political appointees at this stage.

They said the normal entitlement of an MP after the four-year term of a government is VT7.5 million (US$60,240), but if there is a dissolution, it will be less.

As such, it will financially cost the country dearly if Parliament is dissolved and there is a snap election.

Last Friday, the Council of Ministers (COM) met and approved the dissolution of Parliament. On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Bob Loughman went to see President Nikenike Vurobaravu, advising him to dissolve parliament.

The Opposition also wrote a letter to the President following the COM decision, asking him not to dissolve Parliament.

Article 28 (3) of the Constitution states, “The President of the Republic may, on the advice of the Council of Ministers, dissolve Parliament.”

Meanwhile, after the boycott by the Government MPs in Parliament Tuesday morning, the State House informed the Daily Post that President Vurobaravu will observe the political situation for the next two days, before making a decision on both the Council of Ministers’ request and the Opposition’s petition.

SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS