Vanuatu snap election polling ends, early trends show ministers losing seats

Voting in Friday's snap election in Vanuatu. Image: Vanuatu Loop

Report from Loop Vanuatu

Joshua Lafoai and Harold Obed in Port Vila

Voting in Vanuatu’s snap election has ended and last night unofficial results were showing several veteran politicians and ministers may have lost their seats.

Polling officials at stations throughout the archipelago confirmed encountering few or no issues since opening their doors at 7.30am and closing at 4.30pm.

Common issues reportedly faced in most polling stations were the name of a voter did not match that in the electoral roll, or was nowhere to be found on the electoral list.

Some polling stations have seen a good turnout while others have reported poor results.

The snap election was called after the President dissolved Parliament last month following the conviction of 15 MPs for corruption.

Unofficial results have shown both Caretaker Justice Minister Robert Bohn and Caretaker Lands Minister Isaac Hamariliu may have lost their seats.

Isaac Hamariliu is a member of Caretaker Prime Minister Sato Kilman’s People’s Progressive Party while American-born Robert Bohn is the founder of his People Development Party.

In the 10th legislature, they were occupying the two seats of Epi constituency.

Paama seat
In the smallest constituency of Paama, Graon and Jastis Party’s William Fred Taso has reportedly secured the only seat, according to unofficial results.

Tongoa’s single seat is secured by Kalo Pakoa Songi Lano of Iauko Group (IG).

In the Shepherds Constituency, Caretaker Education Minister for Education Toara Daniel has secured the only seat there.

Unofficial results for Ambrym constituency saw National United Party’s Bruno Lengkon retain his seat and former Police Commissioner Peter Bong for Green Confederation snatching the second seat from former Finance Minister and Vanua’aku Pati strongman Maki Simelum, according to unofficial results.

In Maewo constituency, veteran VP politician Philip Boedoro lost his seat – the only Maewo seat – to businessman Ian Wilson.

Luganville may see two new MPs, both popular businessmen, Seremaiah Matai, an independent candidate and Marc Ati of Iauko Group (IG)

In the competitive six seats of Port Vila, unofficial results indicate the leading candidates are Kenneth Natapei. Alatoi Ishmael, Ralph Regenvanu, Jean Pierre Nirua for Independent candidate, Kalo Seule for Green Confederation and Ephraim Kalsakau for Labour Party.

These results were unofficial and may change.

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