Vanuatu snap election: Many MPS returned

Election materials arrive prior to this week’s poll.

In Vanuatu, unofficial results in some constituencies have revealed that many Members of Parliament (MPs) in the last legislature have been re-elected.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports that at least 25 of the 51 former MPs have managed to secure their seats.

According to the unofficial results, Christophe Emelee of the Vanuatu National Development Party (VNDP) leads in the Torres constituency, while Danny Silas of the Leaders Party of Vanuatu (LPV) leads in the Banks constituency.

Both the former MPs for Ambrym Constituency, John Salong and Bruno Leingkone have also secured their seats.

So far, according to the unofficial results, the seats of different constituencies have been secured by former MPs of the LPV, namely, Vanua’aku Pati (VP)’s Wesly Rasu scored the highest votes in the Malo/Aore constituency.

Jay Ngwele of the Rural Development Party (RDP) and James Bule of the National United Party (NUP) both secured their seats.

According to the unofficial results, former Prime Minister Bob Loughman is struggling to book his seat. Robin Kapapa of the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP) won one seat.

Marcellino Telukluk, Esmon Saimon, and Sanick Asang managed to secure their seats too in the Malekula constituency.

Former Speaker of Parliament, Simeon Seule, and John Nil Roy won their seats for the Epi constituency.

For Port Vila constituency, the four heavyweights secured their spots. These include former Leader of Opposition, Ralph Regenvanu, Anthony Iauko, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau and Ulrich Sumptoh.

Former PM and President of the People’s Progressive Party, Sato Kilman, has made his come back to parliament with the highest score so far following the unofficial results last night.

Unofficial results showed that Kilman is leading the votes with 1236.

Kilman lost the general election in 2016 and 2020. It is not easy for a former MP to win an election after so many years of absence in parliament.

Earlier the newspaper reported that there was a big drop in the voter turnout in both the Santo Rural and Luganville constituencies in Vanuatu Thursday.

The election is being observed by a  Pacific Islands Forum election observer team comprising of  Cook Islands Election official Veronica Papatua, Pacific Civil Society rep Louchrisha Hussain, CEO of the Pacific Citizens Constitutional Forum, and PIFs Adviser, Teanuanua Nicole.

There are 219 candidates from a range of party and independent backgrounds contesting 52 seats to the Vanuatu Parliament. Eight of the candidates are women.

During its mission to Vanuatu, the Forum team will continue meeting a wide range of stakeholders including government representatives, candidates, civil society and faith-based organisations.