HOME -> PARLINE -> VANUATU (Parliament)
Print this pagePrint this page
PARLINE database new searchNew search

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 2 September 2008
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
This South Pacific archipelago of 226 000 inhabitants held parliamentary elections on 2 September.

In the previous elections in 2004 the Vanua'aku Party (VP) and its new coalition partners - the National Unity Party (NUP) and the Greens - won a total of 21 seats in the 52-member parliament. The VP's former coalition partner the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP) took nine. UMP leader Mr. Serge Vohor defeated NUP leader Mr. Ham Lini by 28 votes to 24 to become Prime Minister. He formed a 5-party coalition government that also included two VP members. Less than a month later the Vanuatu Republican Party (VRP) withdrew from the coalition government. In September Prime Minister Vohor formed a new coalition including the NUP which he termed a "national unity government ". He designated Mr. Lini (NUP) as his deputy.

This national unity government was shortlived. In November 2004 Prime Minister Vohor granted diplomatic recognition to Taiwan without Cabinet's approval. Five Ministers subsequently resigned and joined the opposition. Mr. Vohor was ousted by a vote of no-confidence in December and succeeded by Mr. Lini. The latter subsequently formed an 8-party coalition government.

Prime Minister Lini's government achieved a certain measure of political stability allowing him to implement plans among other things to liberalize the telecommunications sector. Despite corruption scandals involving several ministers the coalition government survived six no-confidence motions. In June 2007 to defeat a no-confidence motion brought by the UMP the Prime Minister briefly included some UMP members in his cabinet - including Mr. Vohor as Minister of Public Utilities - but dismissed all of them two months later.

Three parties in the outgoing coalition government - the NUP the VP and the VRP - were deemed to be key contenders in the 2008 elections. A record 334 candidates compared to less than 100 in the 2004 elections vied for seats. They included candidates from 25 parties and 80 independents with nine women in all.

Prime Minister Lini argued that a stable government was key to economic growth and national unity. He pledged to create more jobs and improve the standard of living. VP leader Natapei urged voters to support young political leaders arguing that "new blood" would be needed to lead the country.

In April Mr. Ralph Regenvanu the 37-year-old son of former deputy prime minister Sethy Regenvanu under the Walter Lini Government announced that he would contest the 2008 elections as an independent candidate in the capital Port Vila instead of his home island of Malekula. He insisted on the need for change in politics. He pledged to tackle corruption and promote indigenous Melanesians in business rather than relying on foreign investment.

On 24 July the Melanesian Progressive Party submitted a legal challenge to the 2007 amendments to the electoral law which allow voters from other islands who live in Port Vila and Luganville to vote in their urban constituency of residence. It demanded the postponement of the elections until the issue was resolved. However the Electoral Commission maintained the election date.

As a result of incidents in the 2004 elections involving the burning of ballot boxes about 120 police officers were deployed to patrol polling stations.

To boost turnout polling day was declared a public holiday. 70.38 per cent of the 150 000 registered voters turned out at the polls. Voting took place peacefully.

The VP came in first with 11 seats while the NUP took eight. The VRP and UMP each won seven seats. The remaining seats went to 11 other parties and four independent candidates. Mr. Regenvanu was elected with a record 1 710 votes the highest in Port Vila. The new legislature includes 20 first-time members.

On 7 September VP leader Natapei and Prime Minister Lini of the NUP announced that these two parties would form a coalition government.

On 22 September the newly elected parliament held its first session and elected Mr. George Andre Wells (NUP) as its new Speaker and Mr. Natapei (VP) as the new Prime Minister. Mr. Natapei's coalition government included the NUP the VP the People's Action Party (PAP) Nagriamel (NAG) the Vanuatu Labour Party (VLP) the Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP) as well as three independents. Other parties as well as one independent member joined the opposition led by Mr. Maxime Carlot Korman (VRP).
Voter turnout
Round no 12 September 2008
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
107'002 (70.38%)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Vanua'aku Pati (VP) 11
National United Party (NUP) 8
Union of Moderate Parties (UMP) 7
Vanuatu Republican Party (VRP) 7
People's Progress Party (PPP) 4
Independents 4
Green Confederation (GC) 2
Namangi Aute (NA) 1
Nagriamel (NAG) 1
Vanuatu Labour Party (VLP) 1
People's Action Party (PAP) 1
Vanuatu Progressive Republican Farmer Party (VPRFP) 1
Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP) 1
Shepherds Alliance 1
Vanuatu Family First Party (VFFP) 1
Vanuatu National Party (VNP) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
- Electoral Commission (23.09.2008)
- Parliament (24.09.2008 22.09.2011)

Copyright 1996-2012 Inter-Parliamentary Union