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Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceding European exploration in the 18th century. This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. The British and French, who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980, when the new name of Vanuatu was adopted.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Vanuatu
Conventional short form Vanuatu
Local long form Ripablik blong Vanuatu
Local short form Vanuatu
Former New Hebrides

Government type
Parliamentary republic

Capital
Name Port-Vila (on Efate)
Geographic coordinates 17 44 S, 168 19 E
Time difference
UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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

Independence
30 July 1980 (from France and the UK)

Constitution
30 July 1980

Legal system
Mixed legal system of English common law, French law, and customary law

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Iolu Johnson ABBIL (since 3 September 2009)
Head of government
Prime Minister Sato KILMAN (since 26 June 2011)
Cabinet
Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to parliament
Elections
President elected for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of parliament and the presidents of the regional councils; election for president last held on 2 September 2009 (next to be held in 2014); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually elected prime minister by parliament from among its members; election for prime minister last held on 26 June 2011 following a supreme court decision nullifying KILMAN's December 2010 election; KILMAN defeated Vohor SERGE 29 to 23 (next to be held following general elections in 2012)
Election results
Iolu Johnson ABBIL elected president, with 41 votes out of 58, on the third ballot on 2 September 2009

Legislative branch
Unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 2 September 2008 (next to be held in 2012)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - VP 11, NUP 8, UMP 7, VRP 7, PPP 4, GC 2, MPP 1, NA 1, NAG 1, PAP 1, Shepherds Alliance 1, VFFP 1, VLP 1, VNP 1, VPRFP 1, and independent 4; note - political party associations are fluid
Note
The National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of culture and language

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
Greens Confederation or GC [Moana CARCASSES]; Jon Frum Movement or JF [Song KEASPAI]; Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]; Nagriamel movement or NAG [Havo MOLI]; Namangi Aute or NA [Paul TELUKLUK]; National United Party or NUP [Ham LINI]; People's Action Party or PAP [Peter VUTA]; People's Progressive Party or PPP [Sato KILMAN]; Shepherds Alliance Party [leader NA]; Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Serge VOHOR]; Vanua'aku Pati (Our Land Party) or VP [Edward NATAPEI]; Vanuatu Family First Party or VFFP [Eta RORI]; Vanuatu Labor Party or VLP [Joshua KALSAKAU]; Vanuatu National Party or VNP [Issac HAMARILIU]; Vanuatu Republican Farmers Party or VPRFP [Jean RAVOU]; Vanuatu Republican Party or VRP [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders
NA

International organization participation
ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, IOC, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO (observer)

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 US 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 fern fronds, all in yellow; red represents the blood of boars and men, green the richness of the islands, and black the ni-Vanuatu people; the yellow Y-shape - which reflects the pattern of the islands in the Pacific Ocean - symbolizes the light of the Gospel spreading through the islands; the boar's tusk is a symbol of prosperity frequently worn as a pendant on the islands; the fern fronds represent peace

National symbol(s)
Boar's tusk

National anthem
Name
"Yumi, Yumi, Yumi" (We, We, We)
Lyrics/music Francois Vincent AYSSAV
Note
Adopted 1980, the anthem is written in Bislama, a Creole language that mixes Pidgin English and French


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  Vanuatu (Port Vila):


  GPS points from Vanuatu (Port Vila)

Pointe Palikoulo Sanma Province

Ile Hiu Torba Province

Matanoae Sanma Province

Pointe Lawi Penama Province

Dirihi Penama Province

Taoloa Shefa Province

Iles Banka Torba Province

Baie Tabeloum Torba Province




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