Independents, minor parties needed to form Vanuatu government

Vanuatu polling officials discuss details ... results out but the future is unclear. Image: VBTC/RNZ Pacific

RNZ Pacific

The results of Vanuatu’s snap election have been released, but it is not clear who has come out on top.

The official results have revealed a fractured Parliament with seven being the highest number of MPs won by a single party.

The caretaker prime minister and leader of Vanua’aku Pati, Bob Loughman, has secured seven seats and former opposition leader Ralph Regenvanu’s Graon mo Jastis Party has four seats.

A commentator on Vanuatu politics, Dr Tess Newton Cain, said both sides now needed to rely on independents and minor parties to form a majority.

Leading up to the release of the official results on Sunday, two coalition groups had formed.

Ralph Regenvanu’s coalition claims to have 31 out of 52 seats.

However, some candidates are appearing on the roster for both coalitions and things will not become clear until Parliament is called to swear-in the MPs.

Woman elected
It has been confirmed that a woman has been elected for the first time in more than a decade.

Gloria Julia Kings of the Union of Moderate Parties has been elected in Efate Rural alongside two colleagues. She was the fourth of five elected candidates with 1618 votes.

The election was triggered when Vanuatu’s Supreme Court dismissed a constitutional application in September challenging the dissolution of Parliament.

The 27 opposition MPs had challenged the legality of the dissolution, given a motion of no confidence had been filed against Loughman as prime minister.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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