Preliminary Vanuatu Election Results Hint At Change

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Incumbents defend positions, new party wins three seats

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 31, 2012) – In preliminary results from Vanuatu’s general election, some veteran politicians have retained their seats while the new Ground and Justice Party seems set to win several seats.

In the Port Vila constituency, Ralph Regenvanu of the party has scored a huge victory to retain his seat.

Among the five other MPs-elect from the Vila constituency, the former Prime Minister Edward Natapei has been confirmed.

His Vanua’aku Pati has also secured wins in Ambrym and in Tafea outer islands.

The two victors in the Luganville urban constituency are the former ports head, and first-time independent candidate, Kalfau Moli and the caretaker Minister for Internal Affairs, George Wells of the People’s Progress Party.

The PPP, led by the caretaker Prime Minister Sato Kilman, now has at least three wins, including Mr. Kilman himself, who has topped the Malekula vote count.

Of other parties that have emerged strongly at this early stage, Mr. Regenvanu’s new Ground and Justice Party also appears to have secured at least two more victories, winning one of the four Efate rural seats and one of the seven in Malekula.

While vote counting began last night, the Electoral Commission says that various verification processes must be undertaken before it can announce more preliminary results.

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