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RNZ Pacific

A woman candidate appears to have won a seat for the first time in Vanuatu in more than a decade in unofficial results from last week’s snap election.

Julie King, a member of the Union of Moderate Parties, is reported to have won one of the seats in the Efate constituency.

She is from Mele Village, outside Port Vila, the same town that provided the country’s first president, Ati George Sokomanu, in 1980.

Official results are expected later this week.

Meanwhile, a group of parties has formed with the aim of producing a coalition government.

A pact has been signed between five of the largest political parties and associated smaller parties, and, with independent MPs they are claiming the support of 31 members of the new Parliament.

RNZ Pacific correspondent in Port Vila Hilaire Bule said the main parties in the new group are the Union of Moderate Parties, the Reunification of the Movement of Change, the Leaders Party, the Land and Justice Party, the People’s Progressive Party and others.

“The next step is to agree with which political party will hold the prime ministership and if the members of Parliament who are in those parties sign the pact it will be okay, but if they disagree there will be a problem,” Bule said.

Queues at a polling booth in Vanuatu
Voters at a polling booth in an earlier Vanuatu general election. Image: Johnny Blades/RNZ Pacific

Second coalition
A second coalition has now emerged in Vanuatu following last week’s election.

This one involves the Vanua’aku Pati, the Rural Development Party, the Iauko group, the National United Party, the People’s Unity Development Party and the Reunification of the Movement for Change, or some members of these parties.

A number, including the RMC, are also party to the pact signed by the earlier coalition grouping.

The leaders of that first grouping, which is in camp at the Sunset Bungalow Resort, claim they retain the numbers for a majority in the 52 member house.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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