VANUATU ELECTION RESULT DELAYED

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (May 8, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Vanuatu's Electoral Commission reports that it could be the end of next week before the official winners of the 52 parliamentary seats in the national elections are announced.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports that the position of prime minister could be determined by those final results, which will be known only after an exhaustive recount of every ballot cast in the elections.

"Between them, the two governing coalition partners, the Vanua'aku Party and the Union of Moderate Parties have won more than half the seats in Parliament but their own totals are almost identical.

"In a number of constituencies the results are still in doubt, with only a handful of votes separating potentially successful from unsuccessful candidates.

"The principal electoral officer, Jeanette Bolenga, says almost all the ballot boxes have now arrived in the capital, and once they're all in the Electoral Commission will begin the process of recounting every constituency.

"She says it could be Friday next week before that job is complete.

"In the meantime, the Vanua'aku Party and the Union of Moderate Parties have begun intense negotiations with independents and others because the prime ministership may well go to the coalition partner commanding the larger number of official winners.

"Sean Dorney, Port Vila."

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

 

DINH VAN THAN QUITS VANUATU POLITICS

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (May 10, 2002 - RNZI/PINA Nius Online)---Businessman Dinh Van Than, one of the more prominent people in Vanuatu political life for the past decade, says he has had it with politics.

Dinh Van Than, the president of the National United Party, is resigning together with the secretary-general, Willie Jimmy, after the party’s poor results in last week’s election.

Unofficial figures show it has so far won eight seats, but Dinh van Than says they should finish with 11 or 12.

He concedes it is likely the current coalition of the Vanua'aku Party/Union of Moderate Parties will continue to govern the country.

Dinh van Than, who is the largest private sector employer in Vanuatu, says business and politics do not mix well.

Earlier this week, Willie Jimmy, who retained his seat, said that the party needed a ni-Vanuatu leading the Party.

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

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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