Vanuatu's Reunification of Movements for Change (RMC) Party Picks Up Most Seats In Provincial Elections

PM Salwai's party performs well, followed by Vanua'aku Party

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, March 27, 2017) – The counting of votes from last Thursday’s provincial elections in Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea by the Electoral Commission in Port Vila is now progressing.

Meanwhile, the Reunification of Movements for Change (RMC) appears to have made the most gains from the four provincial elections from provisional results received. It is followed by the Vanua’aku Party (VP) and third tied are Leaders Party Vanuatu (LPV) and Graon and Justice Party (GJP).

An analysis of the unofficial results so far received shows that RMC picked by 14 seats from the provincial elections, VP 12 seats, and LPV and GJP 10 seats each.

From Penama, RMC, headed by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, received at five of eight seats on Pentecost constituency. In Malampa, RMC picked up one seat on Ambrym and four in Malekula constituency, a total of five also. In Shefa, the party two seats in Epi and one on Emau constituency, a total of three seats. And in Tafea RMC seems to have made its sole gain on Erromango, where it picked up the constituency’s only one seat.

VP, on the other hand, led by Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman, got one of the six seats on Penama’s Ambae constituency and one of two seats on Maewo, a total of two. At Malampa province, two of 15 seats on Malekula have been listed to VP and one of the two seats of Paama constituency, making a total of two seats. The oldest political party in Vanuatu recorded three seats in Shefa – one of the eight seats on Efate, and the sole seats of its strong holds of Tongoa and Emae constituencies, a total of three seats. Futuna Island in Tafea maintains it strong support for VP with its unopposed candidate for the election belonging to the party. Tanna, a once stronghold of VP gave the party three winners, giving VP 4 candidates in Tafea.

Probably one of the strongest performances goes to perhaps, the newest party, the 15-month old LPV, whose leader is Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jotham Napat, who held a number of Director General position before resigning at the end of 2015, forming the party in December and contesting and winning a seat in his home island of Tanna in the February 2016 general elections.

LPV seems to have not made any inroads into Penama Province yet, but it has ventured into Malampa where it picked up two seats – one of the 15 seats on Malekula and one of the two seats on Paama. It is clear the party is strong in Shefa and Tafea where it picked up three of the eight seats on Efate, its total for the province and three of 15 seats on Tanna and the sole seats of Aniwa and Aneityum constituencies, making a total of five seats in Tafea.

GJP maintains its steady growth winning two seats in Penama, one of six seats in Ambae and one of two seats in Maewo. Unsurprisingly, the party is strongest in Malampa, where the President and founder of the GJP, Ralph Regenvanu, is from and on his home island constituency of Malekula the party registered three wins of 15 seats and one of four seats on Ambrym, a total of five seats. In Shefa, GJP received one vote in the Lelepa/Moso constituency where GJP Efate Rural MP Gillion Williams is from. In Tanna, GJP received two of the 15 seats for the island, making its total for the Province.

Of course, these are unofficial results and they will be confirmed or otherwise once the official results are announced by the Electoral Commission later this week.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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