2 Feb 2016

Vanuatu MPs to announce coalition formation

8:38 am on 2 February 2016
Voters line up outside a polling booth in Port Vila.

Voters line up outside a polling booth in Port Vila. Photo: RNZI/Hilaire Bule

There are signs a new government may be close in Vanuatu with media invited to a press conference in Port Vila later this morning.

Reports are that a coalition aiming to be the new government will sign a Memorandum of Agreement.

Vanuatu's snap election last month returned a fractured parliament with the 52 MPs belonging to 17 parties or independent, prompting more than a week of intensive horsetrading.

But two blocks - Unity for Change and the Leaders' Group - are expected to sign the agreement today.

Unity for Change includes two of the main opposition parties going into the poll, the Vanuaaku Pati of former prime minister Joe Natuman and the Graon mo Jastis Pati of Ralph Regenvanu.

The make up of the Leaders' Group is unclear.

Such a coalition would still require the backing of a significant number of the smaller parties in the parliament to reach the required 27 seats.

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