FORMAL SIGNING OF VANUATU POLITICAL COALITION

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (March 18, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Vanuatu's Vanua'aku Party (VP) and the National United Party (NUP) today formally signed a memorandum of understanding to be jointly responsible for the next national coalition government.

Over 300 people witnessed the Port Vila signing of the agreement by VP's President Donald Kalpokas and NUP's President Father Walter Lini.

Kalpokas and Father Lini both pointed out that Vanuatu has suffered enough from political crises and it is time that stability returns to every level, from the national government to the villages.

They say the new coalition government will work in accord with the country's laws and will implement the Comprehensive Reform Program.

According to the agreement, "Vanua'aku Pati shall hold the position of Prime Minister (expected to be Donald Kalpokas, replacing Serge Vohor), four ministries and three assistant ministries. NUP shall hold the position of Deputy Prime Minister, three ministries and one assistant minister."

The new coalition has 31 of the Vanuatu parliament's 52 seats.

The new coalition will replace a multi-party government led by the Union of Moderates Parties, which has governed the country since 1991.

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