Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare was handed the report of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Observer Mission to the Republic of Vanuatu snap election by the mission head, Sir Francis Billy Hilly.
The Prime Minister received the report in his capacity as the MSG Chair.
In his presentation of the report, Sir Francis said, “I’m pleased to come here to present to you this report. This report, though in its draft form, is complete. The only thing left for us to do is to insert the final election result which is expected to be announced today by the Vanuatu Electoral Commission.”
“In general terms, the Vanuatu snap election went very well. The atmosphere was good and the election administration was proper.
“While we find the Vanuatu Electoral Commission and its staff carried out the mammoth task of administering the snap election with great commitment and enthusiasm, we have taken note of the issues in the roll that we believe still need improvement and made recommendations for consideration by the commission.”
Sir Francis meanwhile thanked the government of the Republic of Vanuatu for inviting MSG to participate in the snap election on an observer mission status and the governments of the observer mission members for their commitment to upholding the prevalence of democratic principles in Melanesia as enshrined in the MSG 2038 Prosperity for All Plan.
Upon his receipt of the report, the MSG Chair thanked Sir Francis for his abled leadership over the MSG Observer mission as well as the members of the mission for the professionalism they have displayed in carrying out their observer mission role.
“Indeed you have done the MSG and your respective countries proud by professionally carrying out your mandate by the MSG to participate in the Vanuatu snap election as observers.
“To you Sir Francis, I commend you for your abled leadership of the MSG Observer Mission. My commendation also goes to your team members for the professionalism they have displayed in the discharge of their duties. You have done MSG and your respective countries proud.”
The MSG Chair said it is his prayer that God will ‘lead and guide’ the people of the Republic of Vanuatu as they complete the process of electing a new government.
Also present at the ceremony was the Special Secretary to the MSG Chair, Mr Rence Sore who was also a member of the MSG Observer Mission.
Upon the finalization of the report, the MSG Chair will hand it over to the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu.
The other members of the MSG Observer Mission are as follows:
- Sir Ratu Epeli Nailitikau, former President of Fiji;
- His Excellency Francis Agwi, High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to New Zealand;
- Mr Reuben Kaiulo, former Electoral Commissioner of Papua New Guinea;
- Mr Phillipe Ajapunya of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia;
- Mr Mohammed Saneem, Elections Supervisor of Fiji; and
- Mr Navneel Sharma, Senior Official of the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The membership of the MSG Observer Mission saw some changes from the first list announced due to the non-availability of the some of the initially selected persons.