Female candidate Doresday Kenneth at Simbolo Red Light on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Hilaire Bule

Three female candidates have been campaigning very hard since the opening of the snap election campaign last weekend, in attempts to grab one of the five seats in the Port Vila constituency.

They are Doresday Kenneth, Nadia Kanegai and Evelyne Utissets. The outgoing occupants of the Port Vila seats are current caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau, former Leader of Opposition, Ralph Regenvanu, Sumptoh Ulrich, Kenneth Natapei and Harry Anthony Iaris.

They are contesting again in this snap election.

“We need the voice of women in parliament,” Kenneth told the people of Simbolo Red Light during her campaign.

A resident there told Daily Post that parliament needs women representatives, but with a constituency like Port Vila, it is very hard for women to get through. He said the history of past general elections showed that no female independent candidate had ever managed to be elected as an MP in Port Vila.

There were two female MPs in the past, but they were elected under the colors of a political party. The first female MP of Port Vila, late Maria Crowby was elected under the Union of Moderate Parties, and Hilda Lini as a National United Party candidate.

At that time, there were six seats in Port Vila but during the 11th legislature, a seat was given to Efate constituency to increase its seats from three to four seats. The reduction of Port Vila seats has made it more difficult for candidates to compete and win a seat.

In this snap election, there are 27 candidates contesting for five seats in Port Vila.