Officially: Ripablik blong Vanuatu; Republic of Vanuatu; République de Vanuatu.
Seat of government: Port Vila.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: Parliament (Palemen) is elected in multi-member geographical constituencies, and chooses the prime minister.
Chief governing party: People’s Progressive Party; Union blong Moderet Pati.
Head of government: Sato Kilman, PPP, prime minister (since 2015).
Other parliamentary parties: Vanua’aku Pati; Nasonal Unaeted Pati; Graon mo Jastis Pati; Reunification of Movements for Change; Nagriamel Kastom Muvmen; Iauko Grup; Grin Konfederesen Pati; Vanuatu Ripablikan Pati; Melanesian Prokresif Pati; Vanuatu Liberal Democratic Party; Vanuatu Prokresif Divelopmen Pati.
Ceremonial head of state: Baldwin Lonsdale, president.
Assessment: Governments are often unstable, due to legal disputes and shifting coalitions; after the first post-independence prime minister, Walter Lini of VP (1980-91), five prime ministers have served multiple terms: Donald Kalpokas of VP (1991, 1998-9), Maxime Carlot Korman of VRP (1991-5, 1996), Serge Vohor of UMP (1995-6, 1996-8, 2004, 2009, 2011), Edward Natapei of VP (2001-4, 2008-9, 2009-10, 2011), and Kilman (2010-1, 2011, 2011-3, 2015-), while Barak Sopé of MPP (1999-2001), Ham Lini of NUP (brother of Walter, 2004-8), Moana Carcasses Kalosil of GKP (2013-4) and Joe Natuman of VP (2014-5) have also served. While the lingua franca of the state is the English creole Bislama, politics is often divided by an affiliation to English or Français as an educated standard. In the 2012 election, the UMP won a plurality of the popular vote, but the VP and PPP both won more seats.
FH: 2-2, free.
Updated: 2015 June 19.