The people of Vanuatu will for the first time in the country’s history witness the official counting of a national election via live streaming today.

Caretaker Minister responsible for the Electoral Office and Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat, said the decision to livestream adheres to the orders of the State of Emergency given by caretaker Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai.

“Initially we have more than five observers in one room to witness the official counting of election votes but we have to comply with the orders stating that not over five people can assemble together so with OGCIO, we decided to livestream for the general public to access the link and witness the counting live,” said Mr Napuat.

This also means some of the observers will be in separate rooms within the electoral office and can witness the official counting live.

The caretaker Minister mentioned they will hire VBTC to be part of the live streaming and broadcast this morning as he acknowledged the hardworking staff of OGCIO who responded positively to this undertaking.

The head of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), Gerard Metsan, said the office is ready.

“We are ready for the official counting today and my staff have set up everything in place for the counting to stream live this activity,” he said.

The timing of the live streaming and broadcast will come after the appointment of a new chairman of the Electoral Commission by the President, Pastor Obed Moses Tallis today. The State House already has recommendations for the new chairman.

The appointment follows the sudden passing away of the former Chairman of Electoral commission, late Martin Tete on Wednesday last week.

“After the appointment is published in the official gazette, the official counting will start,” caretaker minister Napuat said.

The eligible voters of Vanuatu exercised their right to vote on the 19th and 20th of March. All the ballot boxes are already in Port Vila ready for the official counting today at the Electoral Office premises.