FOURTEEN prime ministers in 15 years of independence, with no government serving for more than 13 months since 2012, the only predictable thing about Vanuatu politics is that no government or PM lasts. Some observers are predicting a government change when the island returns to the ballot box on 22 January, after Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale dissolved parliament and ordered a snap election. Will besieged Prime Minister Sato Kilman get a fresh mandate post 22nd January polls? Some observers don’t think so
. After losing some of his cabinet members as well as backbenchers last October when Vanuatu’s Supreme Court convicted them for bribery and jailed them with terms of three to four years including his deputy Moana Carcasses and his Foreign Minister Serge Vohor, Kilman’s time may be up.
His tenure as PM has been a painful one as domestic politics kept him away from crucial regional and international meetings like the summit of Melanesian leaders in Honiara last July in which the divisive issue of the West Papua independence movement was to be decided at last month’s climate change conference in Paris.