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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Vanuatu Parties Conducting ‘Off-Record’ Negotiations
PM Kilman’s coalition appears to have retained power

By Ricky Binihi

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 5, 2012) – The 2012 Election has not changed popular opinion and caretaker Prime Minister Sato Kilman’s coalition that has been accused of widespread corruption could take control once again.

Off the record negotiations are underway among the Vanua’aku Pati, the Union of Moderate Parties, the Graon and Jastis Pati to lure two other parties in the previous coalition to form Vanuatu’s next government.

But the people who voted on October 30 for the 354 candidates throughout Vanuatu have given a thumbs-up for Prime Minister Kilman’s coalition partners according to the 2012 election unofficial results.

10 caretaker ministers have retained their seats. PM Kilman, Trades Minister deputy PM Ham Lini, Finance Minister Moana Carcasses, Foreign Affairs Minister Alfred Carlot, Internal Affairs Minister George Wells, Minister of Lands Steven Kalsakau, Justice Minister Charlot Salwai, Education Minister Marcellino Pipite, Sports Minister Morkin Steven Iatika, and ni-Vanuatu business minister Don Ken have reportedly won their seats.

The Acting Principle Electoral Officer Mr. Lionel Kaluat has told Daily Post the official results will be published by the Electoral Commission on November, next Tuesday; the official results will not change the fact that 10 ministers regained their seats.

Only two ministers, caretaker health minister Willie Ruben Abel and Agriculture Minister James Ngwango did not make it through the October 30 hurdles according to unofficial results.

[PIR editor's note: Graon mo Jastis Pati President Ralph Regenvanu, according to the Daily Post, has called for an investigation into proxy votes made in the elections, seeking answers over how an "impossibly" high number of multiple registrations and false proxies had been allowed. Meanwhile, another report claims no female representatives have successful contested in the elections.]

All the parties in Kilman’s coalition have made a huge comeback even though it was alleged before the elections and during the elections that this government was the most corrupt since 1980.

Kilman’s Peoples Progressive Party, which won only four seats in 2008, has now gained six seats in 2012. Nagriamel with an only seat in the last government has now gained two extra with a possibility of three in Santo where Nagriamel was founded.

The Iauko Group which previously had three MPs has lost one to the Melanesian Progressive Party before the elections and former MP Charley Philip to the 2012 elections, but has returned with Iauko Group President Harry Iauko and Iauko Group Vice President Tony Nari in Pentecost.

The Natatok Indigenous Peoples Democratic Party President Alfred Carlot now has an extra MP, thanks to the voters on Paama. They elected Natatok candidate Jonas James their MP.

Despite the split in the Vanuatu Republican Party that saw the birth of the Vanuatu Democratic Party by veteran politician Maxime Carlot Korman, only the VRP President Mr. Pipite and possibly another VRP candidate on Ambrym made it back to Parliament. VDP is not heard of in the numbers game.

The Reunification for Change Party, which was only born out the UMP on the eve of the 2012 election, has retained all its numbers in the former government except losing Raphael Worwor in Ambrym.

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini’s National United Party went to elections with three former MPs and returned with the same three. And, maybe another one in Ambrym, which has yet to be confirmed by Election Official results.

Greens went to the 2012 elections with only the Finance Minister Carcasses and government backbencher Toara Daniel but have now returned with Greens Santo strongman Mr. Arnold Prasad according to unconfirmed election results.

Kilman’s coalition partners like the MPP of Esmon Sai in Malekula and People’s Service Party of Minister Don Ken have also won their seats making it very difficult for PM Kilman not to be elected Prime Minister again.

Vanuatu Daily Post:
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