VANUATU ELECTION RESULTS RELEASED

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 15) - The final results in Vanuatu’s snap general election has been announced.

It’s taken nine days to count and check all the ballots, and the country still doesn’t know what the new government will look like.

There’s been a big turnover of MPs, with 25 of those elected to the 52-seat parliament being new faces. Turnout was mixed, with the Paama constituency reporting 90 percent of registered voters casting their vote, but only 41 percent did so on Pentecost.

No single party commands an obvious lead, with the previous coalition of the largely English speaking Vanua‘aku and National United Parties, plus the Greens, with 21 seats, and the Francophone Union of Moderate Parties with 8. But all the major parties are fractionalized, and both VP/NUP and the UMP are reportedly claiming they have enough support to form a government.

July 16, 2004

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

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