Vanuatu elections judged 'peaceful'


The people of Vanuatu have successfully voted in a peaceful general election, the Commonwealth observer group says.

Teams from the group, invited to monitor elections by the Vanuatu government, were deployed to Tanna, Port Vila, Efate and Santo earlier in January to assist with Friday's elections.

The country's parliament was dissolved in 2015 after 14 MPs, including a former prime minister, were convicted for bribery.

"The voters were able to cast their votes freely without fear and intimidation," the group said in a report released on Saturday.

The elections come as Vanuatu loses its voting rights at the UN because it is in arrears paying its annual contribution to the UN regular budget.

The Pacific archipelago is still recovering from a deadly category five storm in March that destroyed homes and crops and contaminated water supplies.