25 Jan 2016

Another fragmented parliament for Vanuatu

4:12 pm on 25 January 2016

Vanuatu's snap election looks to have returned another fragmented parliament.

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Photo: RNZ / Walter Zweifel

However, a bloc with some of the bigger parties has emerged as likely front-runner to form a coalition government.

While final results from Friday's snap election are yet to be confirmed, it's clear that it will take another patchwork coalition to form government.

On preliminary results, there are a record ten independent MPs in the 52-seat house, and 17 political parties - although eight of these have just one MP.

While subject to final results, three parties have won six seats - the Union for Moderates Party, the Vanua'aku Pati, and the Graon mo Jastis Pati.

The latter two parties, led by former prime minister Joe Natuman and Ralph Regenvanu respectively, have already formed a bloc called the United Front for Change along with a series of smaller parties to try and form government. They appear confident of gaining a majority of MPs.

This bloc does not include the People's Progress Party of caretaker prime minister Sato Kilman or MPs aligned with his former deputy Moana Carcasses, who along with thirteen other former MPs was jailed late last year for bribery.

The PPP has won just three seats, and Mr Carcasses' Greens Confederation two.

However, lobbying among MPs over the formation of a coalition government is expected to intensify in coming days ahead of the first sitting of parliament in two weeks time.

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