1 Nov 2012

Vanua'aku Party emerges as leader in Vanuatu vote-counting

6:14 am on 1 November 2012

The Vanua'aku Pati has emerged as the leading political grouping in provisional results from Vanuatu's general election.

While the results are subject to change pending vote counts from some remote constituencies, the shape of Vanuatu's new parliament is fragmented with as many as eighteen parties winning seats.

Johnny Blades reports from Port Vila.

"No one block is dominating among the unofficial results in the 52 constituencies. The two oldest parties in the country, the Vanua'aku Pati and the Union of Moderate Parties, both suffered major splits within their ranks this year but have emerged stronger than other parties at this stage of the counting process, with 8 and 6 MPs respectively. Prior to the election, these two parties were in opposition and had entered a pact to work together to form a coalition government. However in Vanuatu politics no pact is guaranteed to last. Also in pursuit for the handle on power are the incumbent government's leading parties, the National United Party and the People's Progressive Party, each with 6 MPs, as well as a host of other parties and a handful of independents. Lobbying between prospective coalition partners is well underway and expected to intensify as those polling stations yet to submit results deliver votes over the coming days."