Vanuatu. In 1996, Vanuatu was characterized by great
political unrest, fueled by a broad-based attempt to
embezzle the entire Treasury.
In January, the opposition coalition Unity Front filed a
petition with the country's highest court, accusing twelve
members of the government of electoral fraud in November
1995. According to
Countryaah.com, in February, seven MPs belonging to the Union of
Moderate Parties (UMP), which formed government together
with the National United Party, declared they no longer
supported Prime Minister Serge Vohor. Instead, Maxime Carlot
was elected prime minister. But a large-scale attempt at
embezzlement, with the risk of putting the whole country
into insolvency, later fell on Carlot later that year. It
paved the way for Vohor's re-election to the Prime Minister
at the end of September.
Economically, 1996 was also a difficult year for Vanuatu.
At the beginning of the year, the cyclone Beti destroyed
parts of the harvest of copra, which is the country's most
important export product.