Vanuatu Daily News Digest | Opposition: PM must step down

The Vanuatu Opposition is insistent the Prime Minister step down immediately. Opposition leaders Ham Lini and Joe Natuman made it clear to a press conference this morning they had made every effort – and with goodwill – to secure the Presidential wish of a government of national unity (GNU). But their propositions for a GNU were continually rejected by the Prime Minister who is clearly running a minority government with half his MPs imprisoned, corrupt practices having brought his government down. The Haos now comprises 38 MPs, with fourteen seats vacant. The Opposition commands 24 seats and has a 2/3 control of the country’s supreme law-making body.

The Opposition wants an early ordinary sitting of Parliament to discuss national issues rather than a meeting which suits the PM’s personal interests. Joe Natuman pointed out the considerable work undertaken by his government concerning the re-conditioning of the Port Vila airport, work supported by World Bank assistance, the World Bank having offered a much better rate than the Chinese EXIM Bank which Kilman has authorised.

Today’s Daily Post indicates Deputy Speaker Samson Samsen has announced Parliament should begin on 14 December. The Deputy Speaker’s notice of the sitting did not include the Opposition’s requirement for the MPs election of a Speaker.

Amongst other matters, the Opposition wants the national budget for 2016 considered by Parliament and the swearing-in of the new Port Vila MP, Kenneth Natapei, to be promptly attended to. The Opposition has made its views known to State House.