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Vanuatu Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Vanuatu
    conventional short form: Vanuatu
    former: New Hebrides

    Data code: NH

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Port-Vila

    Administrative divisions: 6 provinces; Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea, Torba

    Independence: 30 July 1980 (from France and UK)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 30 July (1980)

    Constitution: 30 July 1980

    Legal system: unified system being created from former dual French and British systems

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Jean Marie LEYE (since 2 March 1994)
    head of government: Prime Minister Donald KALPOKAS (since 30 March 1998); Deputy Prime Minister Willie JIMMY (since 19 October 1998)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to Parliament
    elections: president elected by an electoral college consisting of Parliament and the presidents of the regional councils for a five-year term; election for president last held 2 March 1994 (next to be held NA 1999); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by Parliament from among its members; election for prime minister last held 6 March 1998 (next to be held NA 2002)
    election results: Jean Marie LEYE elected president; percent of electoral college vote—NA; Donald KALPOKAS elected prime minister by Parliament with a total of 35 votes; other candidate, Rialuth Serge VOHOR, received 17 votes
    note: the general legislative elections in November 1995 did not give a majority to any of the political parties; since the election, there have been four changes of government—all of which have been coalitions formed by Parliamentary vote; Rialuth Serge VOHOR was prime minister from November 1995 until he resigned 7 February 1996 when faced with a no-confidence vote in Parliament; Maxime Carlot KORMAN was then elected prime minister and served until he was ousted in a no-confidence motion on 30 September 1996; VOHOR was then elected prime minister for a second time; as a result of legislative elections in March 1998, KALPOKAS was elected prime minister and formed a coalition government with Father LINI's National United Party (NUP)

    Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held 6 March 1998 (next to be held NA 2002)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—VP 18, UMP 12, NUP 11, other and independent 11; note—political party associations are fluid; there have been four changes of government since the November 1995 elections
    note: the National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of custom and land

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, chief justice is appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, three other justices are appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission

    Political parties and leaders: Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Serge VOHOR]; National United Party or NUP [leader NA]; Vanuatu Party or VP [Donald KALPOKAS]; Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]; Tan Union or TU [Vincent BOULEKONE]; Na-Griamel Movement [Frankie STEVENS]; Friend Melanesian Party [Albert RAVUTIA]; John Frum Movement [leader NA]; Vanuatu Republican Party [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]

    International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, NAM, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

    Diplomatic representation in the US: Vanuatu does not have an embassy in the US, it does, however, have a Permanent Mission to the UN

    Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Vanuatu; the ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to Vanuatu

    Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a black isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) all separated by a black-edged yellow stripe in the shape of a horizontal Y (the two points of the Y face the hoist side and enclose the triangle); centered in the triangle is a boar's tusk encircling two crossed namele leaves, all in yellow

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)