By Samisoni Pareti
Eleventh hour negotiations paid off for Prime Minister Carlot Salwai of Vanuatu with the withdrawal of a confidence motion against his government.
The motion was scheduled to be tabled in parliament at 2pm Port Vila time today. But posting on his twitter handle this afternoon, Vanuatu Daily Post Media Director Dan McGarry said the motion was withdrawn at the last minute.
“Motion of no confidence withdrawn,” @dailypostdan twittered.
“VP (Vanua’aku Party) has resolved its differences with the PM and agreed to go back to the negotiating table to discuss distribution of roles,” adds the Twit.
The newspaper executive later posted a video of Prime Minister Salwai at a local nakamal (kava bar) along the waterfront of Port Vila with some of his cabinet ministers toasting the latest development around a shell of kava.
Among the ministers were Ralph Regenvanu, foreign minister of Vanuatu, and education minister, Jean-Pierre Nirua.
The newspaper had reported on Wednesday that dissatisfaction with some of the key policies of the Salwai Government prompted the opposition to file for a no confidence motion. These they said included the government’s 1.23 billion (US$10.609m) Vatu’s loan to the national carrier, Air Vanuatu, plus the plight of the people of Ambae Island, who were forced to relocate to neighbouring Santo due to volcanic eruptions.
With the tabling of the motion now averted, McGarry believes Prime Minister Salwai may very well be the first PM to serve his entire term in office in nearly 25 years.