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Vanuatu's Political System

Constitution and political system

Following the constitution of 1980, the former British-French colony Vanuatu (New Hebrides) is a parliamentary-democratic republic. A president, elected for five years by an assembly of parliament and heads of regional councils, is the country's chiefly ceremonial head of state. The President has occasionally intervened in politics. The real executive power is added to the prime minister and the government. The prime minister is elected by parliament and then appoints even the other members of government; all members of government must be members of parliament. Legislative authority has been added to the elected parliament. It has 52 members, elected for four years. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how VU can stand for Vanuatu.

Political System of Vanuatu

To preserve the country's traditions, a national chieftain council has been established, elected by custom chieftains assembled into district-based chieftains councils. The Chief Council can discuss all matters pertaining to the country's culture and language and make proposals to Parliament, and may also be consulted by the formal government bodies.

Administratively

Administratively, the country is divided into six provinces, all with elected regional councils.

Judiciary

The legislation is characterized by British, French and Melanesian traditions. The Supreme Court is the Supreme Court. It also serves as a Constitutional Court. In addition, there is an agreement that Supreme Court judges on Papua New Guinea can assist Vanuatu's courts, especially the appeals court. In several of the regions there are local courts of first instance in some of the islands, led by a magistrate. There are also separate magistrate courts that can act as first-instance courts in both civil and criminal cases.

Weights and Measures

Dimensions and weight are metric.

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