The Waiting Game

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 November 2012 04:24

34 parties and 63 independents actually…

PiPP reported that 346 candidates, consisting of 32 parties and 65 independents contested the election. However, election results released by the electoral office listed two formerly ‘independent’ candidates as belonging to parties. As it turns out, Hilda Lini represented a party called ‘Universal Ethnic System’ and Micky Joe Mike Macki was in the ‘Vanuatu Freedom Party’. Both of these previously unlisted parties consisted of just the single candidate and neither Ms Lini nor Mr Macki were elected. So, for the sake of accuracy, the 2012 Vanuatu Election appears to have actually been contested by 34 parties and 63 independents.

Decision day

On November 7th, more than a week after the people of Vanuatu went to the polls, official election results were released. A collection of 16 parties and 4 independents were voted into Parliament, with the largest party securing only 8 of the 52 seats on offer. So, given that at least 27 seats are required to form a coalition government with an absolute majority, obviously this will prove to be an unpredictable and incredibly challenging process. To get an idea of what coalition combinations are possible (and have fun while doing it), check out this coalition builder game on our website.

While it is virtually impossible to guess what the final coalitions will look like, one can get a rough idea by sifting through information in the Vanuatu Daily Post, regional media, Vanuatu Daily Digest and on Facebook groups like ‘Yumi Tok Tok Stret’ and ‘Vanuatu Election Spotlight’. However, what the makeup of coalitions looks like varies depending on whom you ask at what time of the day, and allegiances can be expected to shift right up until the last possible moment on November 19th.


As the two rival groups seek to form a coalition, intense negotiations are ongoing. As of this moment, the rival camps might looks something like this:

Kilman Coalition

Natapei Coalition

PPP (6)

VP (8)

NAG (3)*

UMP (5)

VGC (3)

GJP (4)

IG (3)

MPP (2)

RMC (3)

LDP (1)


IND K. Moli (1)

VRP (1)

IND P. Vuta (1)

PSP (1)


IND T. Laken (1)



  • NUP (4) – have been reported for both coalitions and have recently been described as ‘the kingmaker’
  • VNP (1)
  • VPDP (1)
  • IND R. Namel (1)

*NAG (3) – Nagriamel recently reiterated its support for former PM Sato Kilman’s PPP coalition, but given Kilman’s close ties with Indonesia and Nagriamel’s West Papua sympathies, allegiance isn’t a forgone conclusion. Vanuatu’s traditional support for West Papua appears to be at a crossroads.

Shaky ground

Assuming a new government can be formed, it will be resting on some very shaky ground, with a number of election petitions being filed with the Supreme Court, which could result in by-elections.

Watch this space!

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