25 Oct 2012

Party splits yield record number of Vanuatu election candidates

12:23 pm on 25 October 2012

Vanuatu's Electoral Commission says the record number of candidates contesting next week's election can be partly attributed to the fragmentation of major political parties.

348 candidates, including 65 independents, are officially listed to contest the 52 electorates.

There are also an unprecedented 32 political parties fielding candidates.

Three of the largest political groupings in Vanuatu, the Vanua'aku Pati, the Union of Moderate Parties and the Vanuatu Republican Party, have all experienced major splits this year.

The chairman of the Commission, John Taleo, says it's had a big impact in constituencies like Port Vila where a record 48 candidates are vying for six seats.

"The reason why the number has increased rapidly is because the splits of the parties. That is why there is a lot independent candidates and also the other newly formed parties which have really been appearing because of a lot of splits in the parties."

John Taleo