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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (March 18, 1998 - PACNEWS/Radio Australia)---Two major political parties in Vanuatu, the Vanua'aku Pati (VP) and the National United Party (NUP), have agreed to form Vanuatu's next coalition government.

Between them, the two parties control 30 of the Vanuatu Parliament's 52 seats.

The new coalition replaces a multi-party Government led by the Union of Moderate Parties, which has governed Vanuatu since 1991.

The parties negotiating teams, headed by the Chairman of VP's Executive Council, Joe Natuman, and the Chairman of NUP's People's Congress, Dinh Van Than, Tuesday agreed to a Memorandum of Agreement that was scheduled to be signed Wednesday afternoon in Port Vila.

VP's President Donald Kalpokas and NUP's President Father Walter Lini are accepted to sign the agreement.

In a joint statement, the two parties say they have agreed on the allocation of Cabinet positions and the candidate for Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister will be elected officially when Parliament meets towards the end of the month, but it is believed almost certain to be Vanua'aku Pati leader Donald Kalpokas, Radio Australia reports.

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