FINAL MAKEUP OF VANUATU PARLIAMENT UNCLEAR

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (May 5, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The final makeup of the new Vanuatu Parliament remains unclear, with results yet to come in from the rural areas of Espiritu Santo, where bad weather delayed the start of elections.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports that results from the remainder of the country indicate that the two parties in the governing coalition look set to return to power provided their partnership holds.

"There are seven seats in rural Santo, four of them held by MPs from the ruling coalition.

"What seems clear from the results already in from around the rest of the country, is that the ruling partners, Prime Minister Edward Natapei's Vanu‘aku Party and the Deputy Prime Minister Serge Vohor's Union of Moderates, will be the two largest parties in the Parliament.

"The party led by the opposition leader, Barak Sope, may have won as few as two seats.

"Five other parties have won seats and there are three independents, but provided the coalition deal stands, Mr Natapei is well placed to continue leading Vanuatu.

"Sean Dorney, Port Vila."

 

SITTING MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT DO BADLY IN VANUATU ELECTIONS

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (May 6, 2002 – Radio Australia)---In the Vanuatu elections, more than one third of the sitting members have lost their seats.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports that with some results still to come in, it appears that at least 19 of the 48 MPs who ran in the elections have been rejected at the polls.

"The defeated members included at least three ministers -- the Finance Minister Joe Carlo being one of them. But it's not the government as such that has lost ground. While nine government members have been beaten, so have at least 10 opposition MP's.

"So while there may be many new faces in the Parliament, the governing coalition of Prime Minister Edward Natapei's Vanua‘aku Party and the Union of Moderate Parties lead by Deputy Prime Minister Serge Vohor seems likely to continue in office.

"The final makeup of the Parliament may not be known until some time later this week.

"Sean Dorney, Radio Australia News, Port Vila."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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