Vanuatu’s Electoral Commission has confirmed the major political parties have been largely wiped out following the country’s snap election. The official results show 17 parties had been elected, but none had secured more than six seats in the 52-seat parliament. Caretaker Prime Minister Sato Kilman is the only member of his People’s Progress Party remaining in parliament following the January 22 polls. Former prime minister and National United Party leader, Ham Lini, narrowly won his seat after a recount of the votes. The elected parties and eight independent members have three weeks to negotiate to form a coalition government.
Dan McGarry, from the Vanuatu Daily Post, told Pacific Beat the political alliances will be the most fractured in Vanuatu’s history. “The joke here is that the independents are the largest grouping and so if they just stick together we’d be halfway to parliament right now,” he said.
“We have more independents, more one-man, one-person parties than ever before in our political history. “It seems that the lines are being drawn more or less as they were in the previous parliament.