26 Oct 2012

Changing of the guard reflected in burgeoning Vanuatu political parties

11:21 am on 26 October 2012

The Port Vila based Pacific Policy Institute says fragmentation of Vanuatu's political parties reflects a struggle between a new generation of politicians and the older leaders.

Three of Vanuatu's main political groupings - the Vanua'aku Pati, the Union of Moderate Parties and the Vanuatu Republican Party - have all had major splits this year.

The fragmentation is described by the Electoral Commission as a contributing factor behind the record number of 348 candidates contesting next week's election.

The Institute's Derek Brien says the high number of candidates is likely to split a lot of the vote as it did in the previous election.

"We're at that sort of generational shift in political power and the splits we've seen show that there's another younger group who want to take the reins and challenge the party leadership. But the party structures and funding mechanisms don't allow sort of that sideways movement from the older guard to let the new blood come through."