8 Nov 2012

Rival Vanuatu groups claim post-poll majority

2:55 pm on 8 November 2012

Two groupings of newly-elected MPs in Vanuatu claim to have the numbers to form a government.

This comes as official results from last week's general election, released late Tuesday by the Electoral Commission, reflect the country's most fragmented parliament ever

Johnny Blades reports.

"The race to form Vanuatu's next coalition government is far from over as lobbying continues among the 16 political parties and four independent MPs who have seats in the 52-member parliament. This is despite claims since last week by the caretaker Prime Minister Sato Kilman's office that an agreement had been signed by nine parties to support another Kilman-led coalition government. However, an opposing camp led by the Vanua'aku Pati waited until after the release of official results to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding between seven parties and some independents towards the formation of the next government. It says the signatories are confident of securing around 30 members with a common desire of combatting corruption. That the MOU includes parties which the Kilman group has declared it already has the support of indicates that there is no guarantee which grouping might emerge as the government when parliament sits to elect a Prime Minister later this month."