Parliamentary Chamber: Parliament


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  2 December 1991

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members’ term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  On 6 September 1991, Prime Minister Walter Lini resigned following a parliamentary vote of no-confidence in his Government. Father Lini, in office since independence in 1980, had been accused of abuse of power and criticized even by members of his own party (Vanua’aku Pati-VP). He was replaced by Mr. Donald Kalpokas, VP President since the previous month.

For the 46 seats at stake, the socialist, anglophone VP was mainly opposed by the francophone Union of Moderate Parties (UPM) led in Parliament by Mr. Maxime Carlot, and by the Vanuatu National United Party (VNPU), Father Lini’s newly founded group. The lively election campaign was peppered by promises relating to copra (a principal crop) prices, free health and education, and a national television station. Final results gave the most seats (19) to UPM but left if short of an absolute majority, while the divided VP lost heavily. In this context, two weeks of intense discussions concerning the formation of a coalition Government ensued. A UPM-VNUP pact was ultimately concluded. When the new Parliament convened on 16 December, Mr. Carlot defeated Mr. Kalpokas in the election for Prime Minister by 31 votes to 15.


Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Union of Moderate Parties (UPM) 19 -1
Vanua’aku Pati (VP) 10 -16
Vanuatu National United Party (VNUP)* 10 +10
Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP)* 4 +4
Fren Melanesia Party 1 +1
Independents 2 +2

  * New party.

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Copyright 1991 Inter-Parliamentary Union