Vanuatu: New Coalition Govt in the making

Ishmael Kalsakau and Bob Loughman (July 2021)

The official results of the Snap Election has reconfirmed the unofficial results — none of the country’s major political parties who contested the snap elections on October 13 have secured the simple majority of the 52 Members of Vanuatu Parliament (MPs) to form a majority government.

The official results showed that the two pre-independence political parties — Vanua’aku Pati (VP) and the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP) managed to secure 7 seats each.

Leaders Party of Vanuatu (LPV) has secured 6 seats, Reunification of Movement for Change (RMC) — 5, Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP), National United Party (NUP) and Rural Development Party (RDP) with 4 seats each; People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Vanuatu National Development Party (VNDP) and People’s Development Party (PDP) with 2 seats each, and remaining winning parties and Independents with one seat each.

Following the official results, there are now two camps in attempts to form the new coalition government. Caretaker Prime Minister, Bob Loughman, is now camping at Iririki Resort and the Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister, Ishmael Kalsakau with another group are camping at Aquana Beach Resort, Eratap.

The Aquana camp claimed Monday that they have the support of 30 new MPs while the Iririki camp has 22 winning candidates.

Report from Aquana Resort indicated the Caretaker Minister of Climate Change, Sailas Bule, from the National United Party (NUP) who signed the second pact with the Loughman camp to form a new government last week has re-joined his president, Bruno Leingkone at Aquana Resort.

The changes last week saw 4 MPs-elect deserting their party president to sign a separate political pact with Loughman. They were from NUP, RMC and UMP.

Last week, both camps claimed to have the numbers following unofficial results to form the new government. Kalsakau’s camp had claimed 31 and Loughman’s 29, but the declaration of the official results saw the claims in one camp reduced.

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