First ‘No’ to Referendum public awareness on Friday

The ‘No’ campaign committee is holding its first public awareness event about the referendum at Feiawa Park this Friday.

They invite the public to attend, listen, and learn more about the referendum.

Yesterday, the committee met with the Lord Mayor of Port Vila to discuss their plans.

Last week the committee met the Minister of Internal Affairs and discussed their intention and requested the government for VT20 million in funding to travel and inform people about their viewpoint on the referendum.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Johnny Koanapo, responsible for referendums, informed them that the Council of Ministers would discuss the budget last week.

As of yesterday, Mr. Kalsakau confirmed they’re still awaiting a decision on whether the group will receive funding for their awareness efforts.

Polling Stations to be declared in other countries

Ni-Vanuatu citizens living abroad will have the opportunity to vote at designated polling stations in their respective countries.

Leith Veremaito, the Director General of Internal Affairs, explained that they are considering declaring certain locations as polling stations to facilitate voting for citizens overseas.

He conveyed this information yesterday in Luganville, during the launching of the referendum awareness for SANMA Province.

Citizens can also apply for proxy voting to ensure their voices are heard. Proxy applications opened on January 23, 2024, and will close on May 13, 2024, according to the Referendum timeline.

Mr. Veremaito noted that since there is only one constituency for the referendum, Vanuatu, individuals who might not be close to the polling station that they are registered under on polling day can vote at any polling station, provided they are registered and their names appear on the electoral list.

Nationwide Voter Registration

A nationwide voter registration and verification for the National Referendum will commence on Friday, March 15, 2024, covering TORBA, MALAMPA, SHEFA, TAFEA, and PENAMA provinces.

Citizens who will turn 18 or older by May 29th, or those already over 18 who have not voted before, are eligible to register for participation in the National Referendum.

Individuals needing to obtain a new ID card or replace a damaged card are advised to visit the field offices during their Area Council visits.

The Electoral Office encourages everyone to consult their Area Administrator to confirm the dates of their visits to each area.