RIGHTS AND RESPONSABILITIES

For elections to be meaningful, citizens need access to information in order to make informed decisions. Active and free media that is accessible to all, coupled with guarantees of freedom of expression and association, are necessary features to enhance the credibility of the elections.

The mass media are therefore very important actors in elections; the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Vanuatu Electoral Office (VEO) recognize the significant role media plays in the electoral process. They are natural partners in the efforts of the electoral authorities to disseminate accurate information and relevant and effective messages to the Ni-Vanuatu population. The VEO is ready to establish and strengthen relations with all media outlets, ensuring that all facilities and accurate information required for media reports are available. The EC and VEO aim to regularly update the media on progress of the various electoral phases through conducting media events, as well as making efforts in promoting the media coverage of electoral issues.

ACCREDITATION PROCEDURES AND FORMS

The law allows for the presence of media representatives at the polling stations for the coverage of polling and counting proceedings. All press and media representatives (whether member of media organizations, freelance journalists, situated locally, regionally and internationally) need to communicate with the VEO in order to get permission to go inside the polling stations. The VEO is responsible for the accreditation of media staff (issuing of necessary identification badges) in order to permit them to report from different polling stations and other electoral facilities.