5 Nov 2012

Election petitions launched in Vanuatu

11:43 am on 5 November 2012

Reports from Vanuatu say that the caretaker Prime Minister Sato Kilman has retained the support of the members of the coalition government he headed leading into last Tuesday's election.

With official results yet to be confirmed, Mr Kilman has been holding talks with MPs who backed him before the poll.

Despite his People's Progressive Party only having 6 of the 52 seats in parliament based on the provisional results, the Daily Post newspaper reports that members of that coalition claim they have secured a majority.

However allegations of fraud in the election and mounting petitions against results have raised doubts about the integrity of the poll.

A committee of 35 losing candidates in Port VIla alone are lodging a petition against the election in the capital, saying up to ten thousand people were denied the chance to vote because of electoral roll errors.

Some parties such as the Ground and Justice Party have called for an investigation of all proxy votes cast, claiming that members of the Kilman government only won their constituencies after a questionable surge of last-minute proxy votes.