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Parliament name Parliament
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 2018 -
President Esmon Saimon (M) 
Notes Elected on 11 Feb. 2016.
Secretary General Leon Teter (a.i.) (M) 
Members (statutory / current number) 52 / 52

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Women (current number) 0 (0.00%)
Mode of designation directly elected 52
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 22 January 2016
(View details)
Address Parliament of Vanuatu
Parliament House
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (678) 222 29
Fax (678) 245 30
240 78
E-mail smahit@vanuatu.gov.vu


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral law 1 January 1900
Mode of designation directly elected 52
Constituencies 17 multi-member constituencies.
Voting system : Closed party-list simple majority vote.
Each elector casts a ballot for one candidate.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Vanuatu citizenship
- ordinary residence in the constituency
- disqualifications: detention in a mental institution
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 25 years
- Vanuatu citizenship
- ineligibility: undischarged bankruptcy, insanity, imprisonment sentence
Incompatibilities - President of the Republic
- judge or magistrate
- public officer
- member of the police forces or of the National Council of Chiefs
- teachers
Candidacy requirements - support by at least five electors of the constituency concerned
- deposit of 50,000 vatu, not reimbursed


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 22 January 2016
Timing and scope of renewal Early elections in 2016 returned a more fragmented Parliament than the previous legislature. A record 17 parties (up from 16 in 2012) and eight independent candidates (up from four) were elected to the 52-member Parliament. Only 16 outgoing members were returned to parliament.

Three parties emerged as the largest forces, winning six seats each: The Union of Moderate Parties (UMP, led former Foreign Minister Serge Vohor), former Prime Minister Joe Natuman's Vanua'aku Paty (VP) and former Lands Minister Ralph Regenvanu's Land and Justice Party (Graon mo Jastis Pati, GJP). Eight parties won only one seat, including the People's Progress Party (PPP) of caretaker prime minister Sato Kilman.

On 3 February, Mr. Regenvanu announced that 11 parties comprising 36 members (see note) agreed to form a new government. These parties pledged to work for political reform and to reduce political instability and corruption in the country. On 11 February, their nominee, Mr Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas of the Reunification of Movements for Change (RMC) was elected unopposed as the new Prime Minister. He subsequently formed a 12-member Cabinet with representatives from 11 parties.

The 2016 elections followed the conviction of 14 parliamentarians for bribery by the Supreme Court in October 2015. Speaker Marcellino Pipite then used executive power to issue pardons for the 14 MPs while President Baldwin Lonsdale (independent) was abroad. On 16 October, the President revoked the pardons.

On 24 November, the President dissolved Parliament for early elections, citing the inability of the Prime Minister and opposition to form a government of national unity. Opposition members submitted an urgent application to the Supreme Court to challenge the dissolution. On 16 December, the Supreme Court ruled that the President's action was legal, paving the way for early elections to be held on 22 January 2016.

The 11 parties are the UMP, the VP, the GJP, the National Unity Party (NUP), Nagriamel Party (NAG), the Reunification of Movements for Change (RMC), the Vanuatu Green Confederation (VGC), the Vanuatu National Development Party (VNDP), the Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP), the Friend Melanesian Party (FMP) and the Leaders Group (comprising the Leaders Party for Vanuatu, LPV, and an independent member).
Date of previous elections: 30 October 2012

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 24 November 2015

Timing of election: Early elections

Expected date of next elections: January 2020

Number of seats at stake: 52 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 183 (174 men, 9 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 4.9%

Number of parties contesting the election: 28

Number of parties winning seats: 17

Alternation of power: Yes

Number of parties in government: 11

Names of parties in government: The Union of Moderate Parties (UMP), Vanua'aku Paty (VP), Land and Justice Party (Graon mo Jastis Pati, GJP), National Unity Party (NUP), Nagriamel Party (NAG), the Reunification of Movements for Change (RMC), Vanuatu Green Confederation (VGC), Vanuatu National Development Party (VNDP), Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP), Friend Melanesian Party (FMP); and Leaders Group (comprising the Leaders Party for Vanuatu, LPV, and an independent member).

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 11 February 2016

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Esmon Saimon (Vanua'aku Paty, VP)
Voter turnout
Round no 122 January 2016
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
113'486 (56.7%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Union of Moderate Parties (UMP)
Vanua'aku Paty (VP)
Land and Justice Party (Graon mo Jastis Pati, GJP)
National Unity Party (NUP)
Iauko Group (IG)
Nagriamel Party (NAG)
Reunification of Movements for Change (RMC)
Vanuatu National Development Party (VNDP)
Vanuatu Green Confederation (VGC)
Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP)
Natatok Party (NATATOK)
People's Progress Party (PPP)
Peoples' Service Party (PSP)
Vanuatu Presidential Party (VPP)
Friend Melanesian Party (FMP)
Vanuatu Labour Party (VLP)
Leaders Party for Vanuatu (LPV)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Independents 8
Union of Moderate Parties (UMP) 6
Vanua'aku Paty (VP) 6
Land and Justice Party (Graon mo Jastis Pati, GJP) 6
National Unity Party (NUP) 4
Iauko Group (IG) 4
Nagriamel Party (NAG) 3
Reunification of Movements for Change (RMC) 3
Vanuatu National Development Party (VNDP) 2
Vanuatu Green Confederation (VGC) 2
Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP) 1
Natatok Party (NATATOK) 1
People's Progress Party (PPP) 1
Peoples' Service Party (PSP) 1
Vanuatu Presidential Party (VPP) 1
Friend Melanesian Party (FMP) 1
Vanuatu Labour Party (VLP) 1
Leaders Party for Vanuatu (LPV) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Parliament (29.01.2016, 01.02.2016, 07.02.2016)
Official Gazette, 1 February 2016


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title Speaker of Parliament
Term - duration: 4 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution
Appointment - elected by all the Members of the Parliament
- the election is held at the first sitting of the newly elected Parliament or when a vacancy occurs
Eligibility - any Member can be a candidate
- candidatures must be submitted by a third party who is himself a Member
- candidatures must be seconded by another Member
Voting system - if only one candidature is submitted : the candidate is elected without a vote or debate
- if several candidatures are submitted : vote by secret ballot. The simple majority is required
Procedures / results - the eldest Member presides over the Parliament during the voting
- the eldest Member announces the results without any delay
Status - represents the Parliament with the public authorities
- represents the Parliament in international bodies
- in the absence of the Speaker, one the Deputy Speakers can assume his/her role and functions
Material facilities
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Parliament
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Parliament
Special powers - is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Parliament
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes part in voting, in the event of a tie only

This page was last updated on 21 February 2018
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