About the EC

Chapter 4 of the Constitution establishes the Electoral Commission (EC), as the most prominent electoral authority in the country. It is composed of a Chairman and two other members, who are appointed by the president for a term of five years on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Following the passing of Mr. Martin James Tete on the 24 March 2020, the newly appointed chaiman of the electoral commision is Edward Kaltamat. The other two members of the EC are Linnes Moli Tarianga and Ps Shem Tema.

The EC is responsible for the registration of voters and the conduct of parliamentary, provincial and municipal elections and has a supervisory role for the (indirect) elections of the Chairman of the Malvatumauri. The EC is also responsible for the holding of national referendums and the (indirect) election of the President.

Article 20 of the Constitution specifies the powers and functions of the EC to oversee the conduct of voter registration and various elections in the country; to announce the electoral results; to promote public awareness and the provision and development of information for voter education; to provide policy advice to the Minister of Internal Affairs, the government, the Parliament, and other departments and agencies; and to conduct research into electoral issues. The EC has the prerogative of adopting regulations which develop and interpret articles in the Constitution and the corresponding electoral laws.

The EC has powers to override the decisions of the Principal Electoral Officer (PEO) or dismiss a voter’s appeal on his registration; to declare candidates endorsed for elections; to declare a candidate elected unopposed; to declare a vote null and void at the official count; to declare recounts for contested results and appeals; to declare candidates duly elected as members of Parliament; and to make appropriate orders for the conduct of voter registration and elections.

The Electoral Commission is assisted by an executive secretariat, called the Vanuatu Electoral Office (VEO), headed by the PEO.